Video services

Verizon's Elby: IPTV Could Take Years

NEW YORK -- 's (NYSE: VZ) Stuart Elby, vice president of network architecture and enterprise technology, let loose on Verizon's network buildout at The Light Reading Telecom Investment Conference here yesterday, outlining plans for a range of new services and technologies -- including IPTV.

In his keynote here, Elby said that the "IP paradigm shift" continues apace, and that Verizon will continue to move all new services to IP technology because "having a small number of networks is better than a large number of networks." The goal, said Elby, is to separate the applications from the network so that Verizon can roll out any type of new service over a single IP-based network.

Elby also had strong words for the IPTV crowd, saying that technology is not yet ready for deployment on a mass scale and likely won't be until late 2006 or 2007.

Verizon opted to deploy its FiOS TV services using existing RF (radio frequency) technology because "IPTV isn't ready yet, and we didn't want to wait... even if we could do it in stages. We can start getting revenue today."

Elby, in fact, accepted a Leading Lights Award on Wednesday night in recognition of his company's FiOS rollout. So far, Verizon is the only RBOC in North America delivering video over fiber. (See LR Names 2005 Leading Lights Winners.)

Verizon has taken a staged strategy to deploying IP video over fiber. In its first stage, it is deploying a fiber connection carrying two wavelengths to each customer. One wavelength will carry IP-based services such as VOIP, data, and video-on-demand. The second wavelength delivers traditional broadcast video using RF and QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) technology, which are common in the cable world.

Elby said that Verizon has taken this approach because IP multicast technology is not ready to scale to the size needed to deliver broadcast services. Elby pointed out that Verizon's video-on-demand services are based on IP technology, because on-demand video can be delivered to a user via a single unicast stream. But multicast IP is a whole different story.

"Technically speaking, the problem is getting highly scaleable IP multicast. Nobody has ever built an IP multicast network on that scale before."

Meanwhile, he says, Verizon's recently built optical backbone and IP network will allow the service provider to migrate PSTN services to the packet world. "We'll see an intelligent optical control plane in 2006 -- this is the equivalent of an SS7 [PSTN signaling] network."

The overall vision, said Elby, is to base its network on IP technologies -- whether it be a combination of MPLS, VOIP, and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) -- which allow it to push out any type of service to any kind of new device.

"I can have gateways that will push down services to the user independent of the handset."

Verizon palns to deploy a "Broadband Premises" gateway that can handle multiple residential services. Elby said the company plans in 2006 to deploy a new Optical Network Terminal (ONT) that delivers both VOIP and video services over Verizon's FiOS fiber access.

What other struggles does Elby see on the horizon? He expressed some need to streamline IMS technology, because "when you get too many people in the room you get too many interfaces. We like to see some consolidation of IMS from the vendors."

— R. Scott Raynovich, US Editor, Light Reading

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paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 2:50:26 AM
re: Verizon's Elby: IPTV Could Take Years

What France and the IOCs do with IPTV bears almost no relevance to what the RBOCs will have to do.

Supporting multiple HDTVs as a starting point.

If it was ready to do this, SBC would copy what others have done. But they can't.

Gelai 12/5/2012 | 2:50:26 AM
re: Verizon's Elby: IPTV Could Take Years IPTV not ready for large scale deployment ?

I never thought that France could qualify for an overly advanced country, but there several million people have been enjoying IPTV (TV over IP over DSL) for more than two years. It's just std definition now, but high definition will come next year.
So what it this Verizon guy thinking ?
materialgirl 12/5/2012 | 2:50:18 AM
re: Verizon's Elby: IPTV Could Take Years Which still begs the question of whether the added features will be worth the added cost.
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 2:50:18 AM
re: Verizon's Elby: IPTV Could Take Years
What added features?

rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 2:50:16 AM
re: Verizon's Elby: IPTV Could Take Years Does anybody know what aspects of IP multicast doesn't scale for VZ?
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 2:50:14 AM
re: Verizon's Elby: IPTV Could Take Years

turing 12/5/2012 | 2:50:13 AM
re: Verizon's Elby: IPTV Could Take Years Does anybody know what aspects of IP multicast doesn't scale for VZ?

Probably the incumbent router vendor aspect.
turing 12/5/2012 | 2:50:13 AM
re: Verizon's Elby: IPTV Could Take Years I think she must mean the "features" of HDTV and video on demand? But those are table stakes now. At least HDTV is. And VoD is direct revenue.
ip_power 12/5/2012 | 2:50:10 AM
re: Verizon's Elby: IPTV Could Take Years VZ isnt doing the BS claim "better than TV". thus VZ can be treated equal to the Cablegods, thus RF path is more desireable.

IE things like Encryption, IP providers are being held to a much higher standard then the RF "so called digital" providers.

Plus MS and Alcatel isnt anywhere near IP ready.

Finally, No way that the RBOCs will roll IPTV (truely roll) before mid07. Not to mention that SBC&BS started this path of TV so they could get the loop back "regulations".

Its just a big game to them. while some of us out here are doing it, scaled it, and have already started other service (3play-04, 4play-05, 5-6play-06). Soap box off.
materialgirl 12/5/2012 | 2:50:04 AM
re: Verizon's Elby: IPTV Could Take Years In "extra features worth the cost" I am talking about anything other than POTS, DSL, and E911 and the ability to be wire-tapped. Anything else is given to us via either IMS or IP-TV. I question whether any of these features will be worth the cost. By bet is that they all get bypassed over the Net with products like Bit Torrent or AJAX or Flash. Watch ADBE.

I appreciate that the RBOCS are in a bind. I just do not think these added "services" are anything but an impending disaster whereby huge investments get zero return.
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