Light Reading
Winners could be in line for a 26.5 million set-top contract, and give telco a path toward complying with FCC ban on integrated security boxes

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
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
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 Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for ...
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
LRTV Interviews
Bob Wilson, Arsenal Legend: The Light Reading Interview

1|16|15   |   35:36   |   (3) comments


Arsenal goalkeeping legend Bob Wilson was Light Reading's guest interviewee at the 2020 Vision Executive Summit in December. See what the former soccer star and sports broadcaster had to say when he took to the stage in Iceland.
LRTV Custom TV
What MEF Third Network Initiative Means for SDN & NFV

1|14|15   |   6:13   |   (0) comments


Vitesse Semiconductor CTO Martin Nuss discusses the importance of the MEF Third Network initiative and why it's good news for SDN/NFV industry initiatives.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Frank Miller: Distributed Solutions are the Best Build for the Future - Part II

1|9|15   |   2:46   |   (0) comments


At SCTE, Frank Miller, Global CTO of MSO at Huawei, speaks about Cable 2.0 and its innovative future.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
Cuomo Unveils Broadband Aid Program
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 1/19/2015
BlackBerry Wants Net Neutrality Protection -- That's Just Sad
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/22/2015
FiOS Picks Up Pace Again
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 1/22/2015
Verizon Ready for Google MVNO Challenge
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/22/2015
Indiana Carrier Takes Fiber to the Farm
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/22/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive