& cplSiteName &

Thomson Fuses VOIP & IPTV

Ray Le Maistre

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At the time, sources inside Alcatel said he left after failing to get the COO position that was handed to, and then rescinded by, Mike Quigley.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
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.
Friday, October 28, 1:00PM EDT
Security: The Plusses and Minuses of Open Source Software
Nick Feamster, Acting Director, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University
Wednesday, November 16, 1:00PM EST
SDN 101
John Isch, Practice Director, Network & Voice, Orange Business Services
Friday, November 18, 1:00PM EST
SDN & Open Source
Christopher W. Rice, Senior Vice President of AT&T Labs, Domain 2.0 Architecture and Design
Wednesday, November 30, 1:00PM EST
SDN & the Software Defined Data Center
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
OneAccess NFV Solutions

10|26|16   |   5:30   |   (0) comments

Antoine Clerget, CTO of OneAccess, discusses how his company has expanded its product line from enterprise-class routers to include a universal virtualized CPE as well as a suite of VNFs to help telco customers evolve to an NFV future.
LRTV Custom TV
The Journey Toward Carrier-Grade WiFi

10|26|16   |   3:39   |   (0) comments

In this Light Reading interview, Dave Sperling, CTO at Smith Micro Software and active participant of the WBA's policy working group, discusses the need for carrier-grade WiFi. Technical and business challenges slowing the fulfillment of this goal are addressed, as well as management strategies that will enable communication service providers to optimize end user ...
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE BBWF Highlights

10|26|16   |     |   (0) comments

At BBWF 2016, ZTE showed a broad range of innovative technologies that are kick-starting an ultrafast broadband journey.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation Technology Beyond DOCSIS 3.1

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Liu Jianhua speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Hybrid Video Solutions to Change TV, Change Future

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Ian Locke speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Future-Oriented Giga Coax Network

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Allen Wang speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei at SCTE 2016

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and take a sneak peek at the Huawei booth at SCTE 2016.
LRTV Custom TV
Assuring Network Quality in a Rapidly Changing Environment

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

As the rate of change and complexity increases in agile networks, the importance of introducing DevOps methodologies for integrating active test and assurance solutions throughout the full service lifecycle becomes critical to ensure that customers are experiencing the service quality they demand. The industry landscape is changing, and software-based test and ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
A10 Networks on Service Providers' Industry Needs

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders hears how A10 enables service providers to accelerate, secure and optimize their application delivery to drive down costs, enhance service availability, and better respond to customer requirements, so they can improve customer satisfaction, monetize their network, and grow revenues.
LRTV Custom TV
New NFV Use Cases for Cable TV

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

A large number of NFV use cases are focused on the enterprise domain, looking at virtualization of customer-premises equipment (CPE). To date, there has been little focus on the use cases and business case for virtualization of the video content delivery networks required to deliver unicast and streaming video to consumers. Amdocs commissioned Analysys Mason to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Meet the Future Workforce: New Faces, Expectations & Motivations

10|19|16   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

Millennials and their younger peers, Gen Z, expect more out of their network and more out of their work. Intel's Lynn Comp shares how the industry can prepare for this new generation of workers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE Global Services User Congress 2016 Highlights

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

ZTE held its 2nd Global Service User Conference in Dusseldorf on October 13-14. Representatives from network operators, leading industry analysts and ZTE senior expertsattended the event, exploring the best practice in managed services and the vision to transform network operations into the operations center of the future (OpCF) in the software-defined networking ...
Upcoming Live Events
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
Hot Topics
Attacks Have Major Internet Sites on the Ropes
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/21/2016
Trump: Dump AT&T/TW & Comcast/NBC
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/24/2016
Google Fiber Hits Pause Button, Scales Back
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/26/2016
T-Mobile: AT&T & TW Means Ma Bell Not Focused on Mobile
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 10/24/2016
Layer3 TV Comes to Town, Hints at Future
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/21/2016
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
'Oh, Were You Looking for This?' Click Here
'I was just playing some games...'
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.