Light Reading

Thomson Fuses VOIP & IPTV

Ray Le Maistre
10/12/2006
50%
50%

PARIS -- Broadband World Forum Europe -- Thomson S.A. (NYSE: TMS; Euronext Paris: 18453) is the latest company to fly the convergence flag with news of a new product combination that pulls together two of the industry hot technologies -- VOIP and IPTV. The French company also announced a fixed/mobile convergence deployment at French competitive operator Free . (See Thomson Offers Combo and Free Uses Thomson for FMC.)

That's interesting enough in itself. What makes Thomson's developments even more interesting is that they're being driven by Jacques Dunogué, the former President of Alcatel Europe who jumped ship soon after Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) and Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) announced their engagement. (See Alcatel Suffers First Merger Casualty.)

At the time, sources inside Alcatel said he left after failing to get the COO position that was handed to, and then rescinded by, Mike Quigley. (See Alcatel Suffers First Merger Casualty, Alcatel, Lucent Seal Deal, and Quigley Steps Down as Lucatel COO.)

Dunogué says he was already talking to Thomson at that time. So how does Thomson compare with its mighty Parisian neighbor? "It's much smaller," he remarks with a smile.

It is also providing him with a greater level of control and responsibility. As senior executive VP of the Systems Division at Thomson, Dunogué is responsible for the company's full range of telecom assets, from the home devices such as set-top boxes and home gateways, to video content processing equipment such as encoders, though to the Cirpack softswitch and Smartvision IPTV middleware systems that Thomson acquired during the past 16 months. (See Thomson Buys Cirpack and Thomson Buys IPTV Player.)

The revenues are significant. In the first six months of this year the Systems division generated €1.2 billion ($1.5 billion) in sales, about two thirds of which came from the home devices. The company has a long history in set-top boxes and, according to market statistics from Dell'Oro, commanded almost 50 percent of the global market for dual and triple play home gateways.

Thomson's latest home gateway announcement, being promoted here this week, is about its deal with BT Group, an engagement Light Reading reported on months ago. (See BT Gets a Gateway and Thomson Ships BT Home Hub.)

Now Dunogué is looking to ramp up business in the other Systems lines, and believes a converged softswitch/IPTV middleware platform will prove an attractive prospect for Tier 2/Tier 3 carriers, and even cable operators, looking to provide triple play services with the minimum fuss.

Smartvision doesn't currently have the IPTV middleware market recognition that companies such as Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Siemens Communications Group , with its Myrio middleware, Lucent (MiViewTV), Minerva Networks Inc. , and Orca Interactive Ltd. have, but it's the technology behind one of the world's biggest IPTV rollouts -- at Orange (NYSE: FTE) -- and is used in about 10 commercial deployments, including Síminn and Telecom Italia Mobile SpA (Milan: TIM), that are serving more than 500,000 subscribers, says Dunogué. (See FT Offers 'Bouquet TV' and IPTV in Iceland.)

The Cirpack softswitch, meanwhile, has been racking up customers in Europe for years, and has more than 80 deployments with license sales topping 4 million VOIP lines, says Dunogué. (See Thomson's Softswitch Tops 4M and VOIP Finds Home in Eastern Europe.)

While the market considers that combination, Thomson will continue to beef up its home devices line-up. Dunogué says Thomson will unveil a next-generation IP set-top box during the next quarter, and is adding functionality to its home gateway products, such as high definition sound (which sounded crystal clear during a short demo) to enhance services such as Internet radio.

But can Thomson deliver at a price the carriers can afford? The Home Gateway Initiative (HGI) is looking for multifunctional units at a price per box of up to €70 ($87.79). (See Telcos, Vendors Battle Over Gateway.)

"We hit those price targets. We're pushing a lot of hardware, about 25 million home units this year, so we have the economies of scale. And while we sell the hardware initially, we then have the chance to follow up with additional software sales. The value is increasingly in the software," says Dunogué.

Generating growth across the Systems division, while challenging, is not Dunogué's main problem. "The main problems are at the bottom line. We need to strive to be more efficient."

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Metaswitch's New CEO Martin Lund Discusses His Role

9|2|15   |   11:27   |   (2) comments


Technology industry veteran Martin Lund joins Metaswitch Networks this week as the company's new CEO. In this interview, Lund discusses his new role and the industry's progress with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders. Lund believes that the industry disruption caused by SDN and NFV is creating opportunities for companies like Metaswitch – network software providers ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Nominum on Leveraging the Power of DNS to Deliver Superior Subscriber Experiences

9|2|15   |   07:13   |   (0) comments


Nominum CEO Gary Messiana talks about the challenges service providers face in competing for a much more sophisticated customer, a customer that has heightened expectations for more personalized and compelling digital experiences. Providers are focusing their efforts on delivering higher value subscriber services, retaining their existing customers and increasing ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
T-Mobile CEO Plays Data Traffic Cop
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/31/2015
CEO Chat With Bill Gates
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 8/31/2015
Time to Monetize Cable WiFi
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 8/31/2015
Carolina Town Becomes First US 10-Gig City
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/3/2015
Eurobites: Anite in OSS Tie-Up With Nokia
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 9/4/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Technology industry veteran Martin Lund joins Metaswitch Networks this week as the company's new CEO. In this interview, Lund discusses his new role and the industry's progress with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders. Lund believes that the industry disruption caused by SDN and NFV is creating opportunities for companies like Metaswitch – network software providers with the agility to embrace new technologies quickly and the ability to deliver on substantial projects for global network operators.
The scene: Last Saturday, lunchtime, the interior of a shi-shi-foo-foo eatery in Manhattan's SoHo district.
Cats with Phones
It's a New Age... Click Here
When smartphones replace stuffed animals.