Video software

Thomson, Ericsson Bag IPTV Deals

LONDON -- IPTV WORLD FORUM -- Ericsson and Thomson S.A. (NYSE: TMS; Euronext Paris: 18453) led the flood of IPTV news today by each landing a new deal with a European incumbent operator -- reminding the likes of Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), and Nokia Networks that they have some real competition in the TV-over-broadband systems market.

Other companies making notable noise at this show include NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701), which is pushing an IMS-based IPTV story, Neuf Cegetel Group (Euronext: NEUF), Neptuny, Agama Technologies AB , Verimatrix Inc. , Widevine Technologies Inc. , and Edgeware AB , among others. (See NEC Pins Its IPTV Hopes on IMS.)

Telenor goes with Thomson
Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN) has confirmed to Light Reading that Thomson will be its lead IPTV technology supplier, as we suggested last October. (See Telenor Plans FTTH, IPTV in 2008.)

Thomson is believed to be supplying middleware, video servers, and set-top boxes for deployment in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, though the value of the contract is still under wraps.

The deal finally gives Thomson another significant European incumbent IPTV account to reference. Its SmartVision middleware platform already underpins Orange (NYSE: FTE)'s 1.2 million telco TV subscribers. (See France Telecom: 'More IPTV, Please' and Top Ten: IPTV Carriers.)

Thomson would say only that it has secured a major deal in Scandinavia.

Telenor has major plans to launch IPTV services in Norway and other Scandinavian territories as it battles against the cable operators and rivals such as alternative carrier Lyse Tele AS .

Greek gift for Ericsson
Greek incumbent OTE S.A. has chosen Ericsson as its lead integrator and video systems supplier as it throws itself into the IPTV fray. (See Ericsson Wins IPTV Deal.)

Ericsson's Tandberg Television unit is supplying head-end equipment, and some middleware and user portal capabilities, while partners Kasenna Inc. (video servers, middleware capabilities), Tilgin AB (set-top boxes), and SecureMedia Inc. (conditional access/digital rights management) are also included in the mix.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Ericsson claims to have more than 180 IPTV deployments, but nearly all of these were inherited when it acquired Tandberg TV last year or won as Tandberg TV standalone engagements. The OTE deal is one Ericsson's first as a broad supplier of what many vendors call "end-to-end" IPTV capabilities. (See Ericsson: Tandberg Is Key to IPTV.)

Other IPTV news of interest at the show includes:

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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