RealTime IT News

IPTV Doesn't Puzzle Nortel & Co.

There is no such thing as a magic IPTV box for network operators that does it all. Or so says Nortel.

But there is a new end-to-end solution that involves a number of pieces in a new IPTV ecosystem that will enable network operators to piece together the full IPTV puzzle.

Nortel's new ecosystem of IPTV providers and products will not only provide content but also facilitate communications via televisions with wireless devices, instant messaging, picture sharing and even voice.

The Nortel IPTV ecosystem, announced today, includes set-top boxes from Amino, IPTV middleware from Orca Interactive and Minerva Networks, video on demand from BitBand and Kasenna, and digital program insertion from Terayon.

Walt Megura, general manager of broadband networks at Nortel, explained that the solution is not a "branded" Nortel solution. Rather it is an ecosystem that is integrated, validated and tested for scale reliability and security.

"We are taking the piece parts, doing all the front-end work on behalf of the customer and letting them sort of 'de-risk' how they go to market in the space," Megura told internetnews.com.

Of course Nortel equipment does play a role.

"We have a portfolio of products that are either Nortel's or partners' that take the last-mile access and provide the right kind of capacity," Megura explained.

"Now behind that we have other technologies. We have our own Ethernet technologies, metro optical technologies and so we provide the capabilities from an ultra-broadband standpoint to get the proper capacity depending on the application. It's like a prime contractor integrator role."

Megura said the biggest challenge in IPTV is the network, with many different pieces that have to be working together harmoniously to enable the customer experience.

"One layer is to get the network working properly with the right capacity -- the right security and scale," Megura said. "You have to get the application layer above it working in concert with the infrastructure, and that's all done with the services umbrella that integrates the piece parts."

Earlier this week, Juniper Networks unveiled its latest IPTV solutions which optimize network utilization for network operators.

But Megura said Nortel's IPTV ecosystem is somewhat more than what Juniper Networks is offering.

"The way to describe it is they are looking at an element that needs to be addressed in an environment to enable IPTV," Megua explained. "It's like a puzzle with 20 pieces and there are companies that are very good at a particular piece and there are companies that are looking at putting the puzzle together.

"Our position is that we are looking at it from a network standpoint end to end, and that's how we're trying to differentiate."