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Video services

TeliaSonera Courts Content Distributors

In a bid to capitalize on growing demand for video transport services, Telia Carrier has unveiled a dedicated network for broadcasters and professional media companies in Europe. (See TIC to Launch New Media Net.)

Telia Company 's wholesale arm is talking up the network -- which until now has been serving customers on a custom basis -- ahead of the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) this weekend, when it will officially begin its sales push. A spokeswoman for the carrier says it has signed up several unnamed customers so far, the first of which came onboard in May.

TIC promises a highly resilient, fully redundant network that will allow media companies to distribute compressed and uncompressed video streams in real time or delayed. The network is continuously monitored and managed from a central point, so that any instance of signal degradation or network failure instantly switches the signal to an alternative path without affecting the quality of the video.

TIC spokesman Jonathan Wood says the launch marks the carrier's move away from its wholesale background to offering managed services by running industry-specific applications over its infrastructure. Boasting a 20,000 kilometer network across Europe, the carrier says customers will be able to produce video content in one country, then store and broadcast it across several other countries.

The carrier has overlaid Net Insight AB (Stockholm: NETI-B)'s Nimbra 340 and Nimbra 680 multiservice switches, which are optimized for video transport, on its fiber network to create a dedicated infrastructure for its media customers. Net Insight will also provide support services for the network. (See TeliaSonera Selects Net Insight.)

Wood notes that Net Insight has sold equipment to carriers doing domestic or regional deployments, but TeliaSonera plans to install nodes in 14 countries by the end of the year, and is "in discussions" with a partner in the U.S. for a node in New York.

The distribution of ever-larger video files means that bandwidth and quality-of-service requirements in the media industry are soaring, and fiber offers a cheaper, more scaleable alternative to satellite. "We're not restricted by capacity like satellite; we can scale our network to any speed," Wood says, noting: "HDTV is going to put a lot of demand on broadcasters."

Heavy Reading senior analyst Graham Finnie notes media companies have already begun moving away from satellite, thanks to a shift in the economics of transport services: The cost of fiber has dropped precipitously in recent years.

— Nicole Willing, Reporter, Light Reading

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