Video services

AlcaLu Buys IPTV Apps Specialist

Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) has ended a busy week by announcing the acquisition of British IPTV applications specialist Tamblin Ltd. for an undisclosed sum. (See AlcaLu Buys Tamblin.)

London-based Tamblin, which has just 13 staff, has developed a software platform called i-ZoneTV that enables IPTV operators and broadcasters to build value-added features, such as interactive advertising applications and audience response capabilities, into their services.

The platform is used by the likes of the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) , Sky , and ITV plc (London: ITV).

AlcaLu has already integrated Tamblin's software with its IPTV applications, AmigoTV and MyOwnTV, which allow service providers to develop personalized IPTV services for their customers. (See Alcatel Unveils IPTV Apps.)

Tamblin's software has also been integrated into the Mediaroom IPTV platform developed by Alcatel-Lucent's key IPTV partner, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT). (See Alcatel-Lucent Unveils IPTV Strategy.)

AlcaLu is keen to stress, though, that Tamblin's software works with any IPTV middleware platform and is not restricted to working with the Microsoft technology.

Heavy Reading analyst Adi Kishore, who has just published "Monetizing IPTV: The Next-Gen Video Advertising Opportunity," a report focused on the advertising challenges faced by IPTV service providers, believes this is a good time for Alcatel-Lucent to make such a move.

"This move just adds to a sense that advertising will be an important issue in the IPTV business," says Kishore, adding that telcos need to start looking at their IPTV advertising options.

"It's the right time to be looking at interactive advertising, and interactive TV applications in general, too. There should be a fair amount of innovation in the applications layer now that base IPTV services have been launched," adds the analyst.

News of the Tamblin acquisition comes at the end of a busy week for AlcaLu following the profits warning it issued late last week. (See AlcaLu Cuts 2007 Outlook by $1.25B and Analysts Lay Into AlcaLu.)

In the past five days the company has announced some interesting customer engagements in Europe and Asia/Pacific, ramped up its enterprise sector marketing, and talked up its optical capabilities.

Here's a rundown of the vendor's latest news releases:

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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