SBC Taps Motorola and S-A as IPTV Set-Top Suppliers

SBC has selected the two top suppliers of set-top boxes to the cable industry -- Motorola and Scientific-Atlanta -- to provide gateways for the telco's planned IPTV rollout. Called U-verse-TV, SBC's video service is set to commercially debut in mid-2006, likely on a limited basis. The service is part of SBC's $4 billion Project Lightspeed initiative. Through the project, SBC plans to deploy fiber-to-the-neighborhood infrastructure to 18 million U.S. households by the end of 2007, mostly using DSL for the final link to subscriber homes. The set-tops from Motorola and S-A will run Microsoft TV IPTV Edition software and support next-generation compression technology, either MPEG4 or VC1. Additionally, the boxes will include Digital Video Recorder (DVR) functionality. Back in March 2005, SBC awarded a contract to Scientific-Atlanta to provide switched IP video network infrastructure equipment, which SBC is currently testing in a technical trial. SBC's video rollout will not be a moment too soon. By the end of 2006, Comcast's IP phone service rollout will be in full swing, following fast on the heels of Cablevision and Time Warner Cable. Cablevision, which operates in Verizon's territory, has already achieved 10 percent penetration of homes marketed for its IP phone service, called Optimum Voice.
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