Light Reading
French firm Thomson is fusing two of its products into a combined IPTV and VOIP service platform

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At the time, sources inside Alcatel said he left after failing to get the COO position that was handed to, and then rescinded by, Mike Quigley.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
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Rick Talbot, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:12   |   (0) comments


At the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Rick Talbot shared his positive feedback about the holistic and open approach that Huawei adopts for SDN and NFV. He also found the open sharing at the event valuable as it features different perspectives from Huawei experts, telecom operators, industry analysts as well as security experts.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With David Snow, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:24   |   (0) comments


David Snow talked about his understanding of Huawei and its SoftCOM strategy at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that Huawei's wide approach combining IT and CT expertise, introducing big data and analytics into solutions and contributing to the OpenStack community particularly resonate with him and make the company stand out in the industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

10|31|14   |   3:13   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro commented on Huawei's data center capabilities and NFV solutions at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that in addition to covering all three key domains of compute, storage and networking, the company also emphasizes the importance of management capabilities and professional services, which are essential in making NFV a reality.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Michael Howard, Co-founder & Principal Analyst, Infonetics Research

10|31|14   |   5:25   |   (0) comments


Michael Howard talked about SDN, NFV, and OpenStack adoption at Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014. Particularly, he pointed out that Virtual Enterprise CPE is the top NFV use case that operators plan to invest in over 2014 and 2015 to deliver new enterprise services through virtualized functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Jerry Caron, Senior Vice President, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   3:11   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Jerry Caron from Current Analysis said that orchestration and management are key to realizing SDN and NFV for global carriers, and the approach that Huawei is taking, with its FusionSphere Cloud OS at the core, is in the right direction to address the challenges.
LRTV Documentaries
Broadband Battles

10|31|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


This year's Broadband World Forum featured a number of show floor battles focused on access gear, components and coffee.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (1) comment


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed