Light Reading

Verizon Set-Top RFP Could Be Worth Billions

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
7/13/2007
50%
50%

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) has put out a huge request for proposal (RFP) seeking "next-generation" set-tops and conditional access technologies that could be valued in the multibillion-dollar range, Cable Digital News has learned.

According to sources familiar with the project, Verizon issued the RFP, titled "Next Generation Set-Top Box (NGSTB) and Conditional Access System (CAS)," on June 15 and recently extended the deadline for vendor submissions to Monday, July 16, 2007. The RFP is looking for a set-top volume on the order of 26.5 million units, which could make it worth multiple billions of dollars.

"This is the largest dollar RFP amount I've ever seen," said one source familar with the request. "It's like getting in with an operator like Comcast on the ground floor."

Verizon has the project on a fast track, as it's believed the telco plans to reply to respondents by August.

A Verizon spokeswoman declined to comment, noting that such requests are issued under non-disclosure agreements. "Typically, we don't comment on that sort of thing until we sign a vendor or are ready to announce something," she said

It's not yet known who has responded to the RFP, but it should draw plenty of attention from set-top box makers and conditional suppliers looking to unseat incumbent Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) as Verizon's go-to video supplier. Likely candidates could include Scientific Atlanta /Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Samsung Corp. , LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) , Pace Micro Technology , NDS Ltd. , Irdeto Access B.V. , Kudelski Group , Widevine Technologies Inc. , Advanced Digital Broadcast (ADB) , and Amino Communications Ltd. , among others.

As an incumbent, Motorola is also a contender, but price competition against Motorola is considered another purpose for Verizon's RFP, so, at the very least, margins could come under attack.

"They [Verizon] just know they want an open system and a choice of CE companies," says a person familiar with the RFP.

Motorola declined to comment on specific questions pertaining to the RFP, noting that it is not the company's policy to comment on customer activities. "We can tell you that Motorola is currently supporting Verizon's successful rollout of video services and will continue to support this and other initiatives going forward," the company said, in a prepared statement.

Among Verizon's aims, it's expected the RFP will vet options for a downloadable conditional access system (DCAS) that would satisfy the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) July 1, 2007, mandate that newly purchased and deployed set-tops use a separable security system. (See Countdown to 'Seven-Oh-Seven'.)

For the moment, Verizon (like many other service providers) is temporarily protected by an FCC-granted "Omnibus" waiver that allows the telco to continue using set-tops with integrated security on the promise that it will migrate to an all-digital platform by Feb. 17, 2009. (See Verizon & Others Get Their Waivers and Waiver Fallout .)

The RFP represents a bit of a threat to Motorola's position at Verizon. Today, Motorola is Verizon's only supplier for set-tops and the integrated CAS. The Motorola QIP product line Verizon employs is outfitted to handle traditional cable-like QAM signals as well as IP-based feeds, but the security is embedded in the device. Down the road, Verizon could opt to run a simulcrypt technique that allows Motorola's CAS and a security system from another provider to operate on the same system.

In seeking a waiver on its current line of QIP set-tops, Verizon disclosed it is looking to implement a "truly interoperable downloadable conditional access system."

Although a downloadable security system could result from Verizon's RFP, it's not necessarily a focus. Sources say the document doesn’t necessarily specify a platform that is downloadable or is akin to physically-modular CableCARD or SmartCard systems.

"They're keeping their options open," says a source familiar with the RFP.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:05:21 PM
re: Verizon Set-Top RFP Could Be Worth Billions
Separately, VZ seems interested in using more than one security scheme at once. Does this throw cold water into CSCO's "end to end" story?

- Not if Verizon opts for the Scientific Atlanta PowerKEY system, but that decision won't be made for some time, I think.

materialgirl
50%
50%
materialgirl,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:05:21 PM
re: Verizon Set-Top RFP Could Be Worth Billions
Is there any chance that the struggles MOT management is experiencing with their cell phones and their investor base are spilling over into their network equipment segment? Separately, VZ seems interested in using more than one security scheme at once. Does this throw cold water into CSCO's "end to end" story? If MOT loses set top share, does that also reflect further into the network as share loss?
From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
LRTV Custom TV
Quad Channel Modulator Driver with 46 Gbaud Capability from MACOM

1|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


MACOM's MAOM-003427 is the industry's first surface-mount modulator driver with 46 Gbaud capability to support next generation 200G and 400G applications.
LRTV Custom TV
Video Infographic: Validating Cisco's NFV Infrastructure

1|26|16   |   02:24   |   (1) comment


We all know that the network of the future will be virtual, but when will virtual become a reality? This video infographic covers the four key areas in which Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, tested Cisco's NFV infrastructure: performance, reliability, multi-service capabilities and single pane of glass management.

For the full report, see

Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Phil McKinney, CableLabs

1|22|16   |   13:36   |   (1) comment


At CES in Las Vegas, we met with Phil McKinney, CEO of CableLabs. Phil provides an update on the rollout of DOCSIS 3.1, his views on the future of open source and how consumer interest in virtual reality could affect network traffic.
Between the CEOs
Ericsson CTO on the Changing Telecom Market

1|21|16   |   10:26   |   (0) comments


At CES 2015, CTO of Ericsson, Ulf Ewaldsson, sits down with CEO of Light Reading, Steve Saunders, to discuss the changing telecom market, the new partnership with Cisco and the future of the telecom industry.
LRTV Interviews
Ireland's Data Dream

1|21|16   |   14:31   |   (0) comments


Host In Ireland president Gary Connolly tells Light Reading's Steve Saunders about the role Ireland is playing in hosting data for the world's largest organizations.
LRTV Custom TV
Brocade Keynote: Transitioning to the New IP

1|20|16   |   27:23   |   (0) comments


At 2020 Vision in Dublin, Andrew Coward, VP of Service Provider Strategy at Brocade, presents the transition to the New IP.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's latest VNI numbers suggest the world will be using 366.8 exabytes of data on smartphones and Internet of Things devices, up from 44.2 exabytes, in 2015.
Hot Topics
Alphabet Is Serious About Google Fiber
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/1/2016
Did Juniper Pay 'Peanuts' for BTI?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 2/2/2016
Google's 5G Radio Ambitions Are Expanding
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/5/2016
How Data Center Outsourcing Fuels AT&T NetBond Growth
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 2/3/2016
3.5GHz Startup Gets $22M for Small Cells
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/2/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
As anyone who knows me will tell you, I like to think I know a fair bit about this next-gen-comms malarkey, but there's nothing like an interview with one of the ...
Animals with Phones
Happy Groundhogs for Technology Day! Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.