Video services

AlcaLu 'Ads' to Its TV Program

Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) says its acquisition of IPTV applications specialist Tamblin Ltd. , announced Friday, gives it credibility in one of the most important niche areas of TV development: interactive advertising. (See AlcaLu Buys IPTV Apps Specialist.)

Talking from Tamblin's London offices today, AlcaLu's VP of multimedia and payment at the vendor's Convergence business unit, Tiaan Schutte, says the acquisition is "a key building block for us. It is showing the industry our intent and direction."

He adds: "The knowledge the Tamblin team has in interactive advertising and bi-directional applications is invaluable. It gives us a quicker route to market and credibility in the spaces where Alcatel-Lucent wants to play in the future."

Given that Tamblin's current customer base comprises the major players in the U.K.'s broadcasting sector -- British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) , Sky , ITV plc (London: ITV), and Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED), among others -- does this mean AlcaLu has aspirations in the traditional TV world?

"Yes" appears to be the answer. "Alcatel-Lucent wants to be a provider to broadcasters, advertising companies, and content providers. These applications are invaluable additions to our triple screen strategy." Triple screen? IPTV, broadcast, and mobile.

Says Schutte, "The business Tamblin already has in the U.K. media market shows the value of the products." And there are already other customers, he notes. "It has customers and trials outside the U.K. in broadcasting and telecom, though we can't talk about them at the moment."

And there is very real demand for the sorts of services that Tamblin's applications can deliver, such as interactive advertising and audience response mechanisms.

"Absolutely there is demand for these capabilities. There isn't one single [IPTV] customer that isn't asking for enrichment of their interactive portal," says Schutte, who cited comments made by Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s COO Steve Burke earlier this week as an example of the potential that service providers see from interactive advertising capabilities. (See Burke Sizes Up Telcos, Content Opportunities .)

Schutte adds: "This acquisition shows our commitment to this industry. This is a key building block for us. It is showing the industry our intent and direction." — Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

Sign In