Well, while we don't know how long it took to agree on the outcome, the decision is pure genius. The company is changing the name of the "end-to-end solution" from mVision to RollingStream.
In a press release, the company says the rebranding "better articulates the function of UTStarcom's IPTV product family to enable service providers to offer their subscribers a variety of streaming applications over a single platform."
So, the technology is a doozy and, on paper, the approach is worth noting. But the name wasn't up to scratch. (See UTStarcom Launches IP TV System.)
Will the new moniker, especially one like RollingHillsAndValleys, give it a new shot of life? Not really, says Rick Thompson, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, and author of a recent report on the IPTV sector, IPTV and the Future of Telecom Video Network Architectures. (See IPTV Alters Network Landscape.)
"Rebranding a product will make no significant difference with gaining customer traction. Long-term, UTStarcom needs to continue proving the functionality and performance through deployments," he says.
And how likely are further deployments? The vendor claims it has 40 trials of the system, but has revealed only three customers to date -- SoftBank BB Corp. , SmartTel Communications in Alabama, and a small deployment at China Telecom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CHA). (See UTStarcom Wins (Again) at Softbank BB, UTStarcom Wins IP TV Deal, and UTStarcom Sells IPTV to China.)
Thompson adds, "I don't see UTStarcom making an impression with large carriers in the near term. Longer term, the company probably needs to figure out where its value really lies to solve pieces of the IPTV problem in bigger networks."
And while UTStarcom figures that out, don't waste any time wondering where the company managed to pluck the new name from. In mid 2003 the vendor acquired a video switch startup called RollingStreams Systems. (See UTStarcom Nabs RollingStreams, Xebeo.)
Elsewhere in IPTV Land...
Video server vendor SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC) has had a busy start to 2006. It has unveiled new applications for on-demand TV, taken the wraps off a new memory blade that turns its video servers into hybrid servers with built-in storage, and lost a patent infringement court appeal. Phew! (See SeaChange Debuts Memory Blade, SeaChange Unveils On-Demand Apps, and Court Upholds Ruling.)
The patent dispute stretches back to May 2002, when rival video server vendor nCube, since acquired by C-COR Corp. (Nasdaq: CCBL), won the initial court ruling. The appeals court backed up that judgment, saying that SeaChange "willfully infringed" the patent. (See C-COR Acquires nCUBE.)
SeaChange says it has already accounted for the damages to the tune of $7.8 million, and that the decision will have no impact on the firm's financials.
In addition, SeaChange CEO Bill Styslinger noted in a statement: "Based on the District Court's decision nearly three years ago, we carefully developed a revised software module that we believe does not infringe the patent."
Other recent IPTV highlights include:
- AT&T, Verizon Tout Telco TV
- CES: IPTV Dreams
- Will Video Kill the DRM Stars?
- Entone Scores IPTV Win
- Zarlink Taps Into IPTV
- Oxford Uses Siemens
- Aeon Unveils IPTV STB
- Brix Bolsters Its IPTV OSS
- Telefónica IPTV Hits 200,000