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Video services

Iskratel Partners for IPTV Package

PARIS -- TVoDSL 2007 -- Slovenian vendor Iskratel d.o.o. is the latest equipment vendor to piece together an IPTV system package for carriers, and it has even built its own telco video service delivery platform based on assets picked up from a now defunct IPTV middleware player.

Iskratel, which makes a range of multiservice access, TDM, VOIP, and end user terminal products, entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with now defunct IPTV middleware company Infogate Online Ltd. to use and develop its source code, which Iskratel has done to create what it calls its SI3000 Middleware.

Infogate, one of the minnows of the IPTV middleware sector, has withered on the vine. While its Website remains, no one answers the contact phone number in Israel, and the line to its U.S. office has been disconnected. Iskratel says the company still exists legally but has no staff.

So Iskratel is picking up where Infogate left off and is promoting its middleware product and multiservice access node (xDSL, FTTx, WiMax, Ethernet, VOIP) as the core of its IPTV offering. (See Iskratel Unveils MSAN and Iskratel Adds WiMax to MSAN.)

A new group of partners has formed to round out the IPTV package, says senior sales manager Janko Loncar: Optibase Ltd. (Nasdaq: OBAS) for head-end encoding; BitBand for video servers; Irdeto Access B.V. for content security; and Amino Technologies plc (London: AMO) for set-top boxes.

Loncar says those companies are the preferred partners but that Iskratel can work with other vendors as well, depending on carrier needs. He says Iskratel already has two IPTV deployments that have yet to be made public, one in Poland and one in Russia, and that a further six or so carriers are in trials or negotiations.

Iskratel has also just announced it is using Irish vendor Shenick Network Systems Ltd. to test its IPTV triple-play solutions in its labs. (See Iskratel Picks Shenick.)

Central and Eastern Europe is starting to show signs of IPTV service uptake, with triple-play offerings already available in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, and Russia. (See Microsoft Adds Three for IPTV, Slovenian ISP Picks Amino, O2 Czech Updates on IPTV, MM Polska Launches IPTV, Corvette Launches IPTV, and Elion Picks Widevine.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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