Video software

UTStarcom Rolls With New IPTV Name

Imagine the scene. It's the UTStarcom Inc. (Nasdaq: UTSI) boardroom, and the big cheeses are trying to think of ways to boost sales of the company's IPTV system, mVision, which was launched about 15 months ago. (See UTStarcom Launches IP TV System.)

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:

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

digits 12/5/2012 | 4:09:27 AM
re: UTStarcom Rolls With New IPTV Name OK, so mVision/RollingStream it has been deployed at Softbank, and has a foot in the door at China Telecom, along with a handful of other hopefuls.

But, long-term, can the company cut it in IPTV circles? It appears to talk a good talk, and I have heard the company say in the past that its system comes into its own when subscriber numbers ramp up towrds the high hundreds of thousands...
flyingsausage 12/5/2012 | 4:09:26 AM
re: UTStarcom Rolls With New IPTV Name
whatever the product offering of UTStarcom can be, they first needs a name and strong relations before they can get a significant share of the pie.
mtrehearne 12/5/2012 | 4:09:24 AM
re: UTStarcom Rolls With New IPTV Name What about Lucent? Can LU make it in IPTV? You only hear about the one deployment - however it is the largest IPTV deployment in Europe now at Telefonica.

Any traction with any other providers??
alcaseltzer 12/5/2012 | 4:09:19 AM
re: UTStarcom Rolls With New IPTV Name How many names is this product going to have? Does anyone remember what it was called before mVision? Do they run any of these names by legal first? Good follow-up questions for you Ray...
materialgirl 12/5/2012 | 4:09:19 AM
re: UTStarcom Rolls With New IPTV Name UTSI cannot walk and chew gum. They have messed up every market they have entered (PAS, IP-DSLAM) and just moved on to ever grander claims with no execution to back it up.
alcaseltzer 12/5/2012 | 4:09:14 AM
re: UTStarcom Rolls With New IPTV Name Only some cursory digging turned up the naming history -

As of 01/2004, in the 10-K, it was called MediaSwitch

As of 10/2004, it was called mVision

As of 01/2006, it's called RollingStream

Ray - it would be good to do some follow-up with ut-starcom...is this all the same product with with 3 different names? or did the kill something along the way and come out with new kit under a new name? Perhaps the answers to these will answer your original question.
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