Ready to Row With Canoe?

9:50 AM -- WASHINGTON -- The Cable Show -- Openet Telecom Ltd. is using this week's confab here as its formal jump into the cable sector. And it's jumping in with both feet, claiming what it brings to the table can help out none other than Canoe Ventures LLC , the cross-MSO advanced advertising consortium. (See Canoe, CableLabs Draft Ad Spec and Canoe Rows Toward Enhanced TV .)

But what exactly is Openet bringing to the party?

Openet, which cut its teeth in the wireless world, specializes in processing massive amounts of "network events and transactions," and has adapted its "FusionWorks" product suite for the cable environment.

Operators use that data to track customer usage, giving them the necessary visibility to develop pre-paid and post-paid services, as well as a wide range of tiered pricing plans and other service policies.

And, for service operators, those systems need to scale. One of Openet's U.S. wireless customers (both AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless are in Openet's domestic stable) processes 15 billion transactions units per day, or roughly 70,000 to 100,000 simultaneous transactions every second, according to Openet chief marketing officer Michael Manzo.

Now Openet thinks cable's more than ready to tap in and create some new service business models for phone, Internet, and video services.

"It comes down to [giving operators] a more dynamic way of delivering services. Step one is gaining more visibility," says Manzo, who claims his company already has deals in place with two of the three largest cable MSOs in North America.

He won't disclose those customers, but Manzo says cable revenues made up 10 percent of the pie last year, and 20 percent is the target for 2009. He insists half of Openet's revenue could come from cable in two to four years.

"The opportunity for cable is large and greenfield," he says. And wireless? "It's a market share game" at this point.

Looking forward, one area where Openet hopes to make some additional hay in cable involves advanced advertising. Canoe Ventures will need to ingest and manage massive amounts of audience data and consolidate that into a single, nationwide view. Predictably, Openet thinks its technology can lend a helping hand.

Manzo acknowledges that Openet has no formal relationship with Canoe. "Of course, we're trying to win that business," he says, noting that Canoe hasn't made a vendor decision in this particular area.

Openet has other items on its list of cable targets. It also believes its systems will come into play as operators introduce Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format (EBIF) and tru2way applications and seek out partners to handle backend connectivity for voting and polling, and TV-based commerce apps.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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