& cplSiteName &

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?
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
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
CommScope – Meeting the Demands of Tomorrow's Networks

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Phil Sorksy, Vice President International at CommScope, discusses addressing the challenges faced by service providers today, and as future trends emerge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
AMS-IX & Huawei's OSN 902

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shows how its OSN 902 platform helps the Amsterdam Internet exchange to connect the world using multiplexing.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Smart Energy Innovation Center

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


In Nuremberg, Huawei showcases its latest capabilities in the digitalization of Internet resources, network infrastructure and intelligence at its Smart Energy Innovation Center.
Valley Wonk
OFC & Hyperscale: A Good Mix?

3|24|17   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Cloud and telecom players want different types of equipment for their networks, as the chatter at OFC reveals.
LRTV Custom TV
Etisalat on NFV Journey

3|24|17   |   10:37   |   (0) comments


Etisalat is a service provider that prides itself on bringing innovative technologies to the markets it serves. It was one of the first operators to implement 3G and leads the pack in fiber penetration. Now, Esmaeel Al Hammadi, Etisalat's SVP of Network Development, explains the operator's journey to virtualization, beginning with the network core, as well as the ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 3

3|22|17   |     |   (1) comment


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting on the application of technologies and key business verticals such as transportation, smart city, manufacturing, media and finance.
LRTV Documentaries
No Regrets: Cox's Finkelstein on Fiber & More

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


At the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein examines the cable capex conundrum.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Next-Gen: The 'Mile High' View From Denver

3|22|17   |   11:56   |   (0) comments


Alan Breznick kicks off the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, casting his thousand-yard stare over cable's current competitive landscape.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 2

3|21|17   |   2:27   |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting digital transformation solutions around IoT, smart data centers, OpenCloud ecosystem and its newly announced storage-as-a-service solution.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving Better Mobile Customer Experience While Transforming the Mobile Network

3|21|17   |   7:47   |   (0) comments


The Citrix NetScaler mobile gateway is an intelligent traffic management solution which can markedly improve the customer experience provided by mobile operators, even when traffic is encrypted. Critical network services can be consolidated and virtualized using NetScaler. Because of the unique architecture, NetScaler can be deployed on any hypervisor, on a ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: What's Next for Mobile Payments?

3|21|17   |   7:49   |   (0) comments


2017 marks the fifth consecutive year for Mastercard at Mobile World Congress and it was a great time to reflect on the amazing advances the payments industry has made as well as discuss "What's Next' in the digital commerce future. We spoke to James Anderson, executive vice president of digital payments at MasterCard, about digital wallets to tokenization to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: 2 Billion Adults 'Trapped' in Cash Economy

3|21|17   |   03:51   |   (1) comment


Despite advances made in the last several years, two billion adults around the world are trapped in a cash economy and lack what we take for granted -- a safe way to receive, save and use money. Shamina Singh, executive vice president of sustainability and president of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, chats about how Mastercard is developing new ways to ...
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
High-Band 5G: Let's Address the Range Question, Shall We?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/21/2017
Eurobites: A1, Nokia Turn It Up to 11
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 3/22/2017
FTTH No Slam Dunk for Cable
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/23/2017
Welcome to the Wild West of Privacy
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/24/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
At MWC 2017, Qualcomm's CTO Matt Grob talks to Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders about the progress being made in the development of the technologies and standards that will underpin 5G.
Animals with Phones
Neither Do We Click Here
Is that a prerequisite?
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.