RealTime IT News

Billing For IPTV

Network equipment maker Alcatel and billing specialist Amdocs are partnering to help telecom carriers roll out Internet Protocol TV (IPTV), the companies said today.

Under the agreement, Alcatel's IPTV platform will be integrated with Amdocs' IP Convergence Solution. In addition, the companies will draw up a joint architectural map, as well as joint sales and marketing plans.

"Service providers need not only the infrastructure, but also a way to address the unique operational and billing characteristics inherent in these services," Hubert de Pesquidoux, president of Alcatel's North American activities, said in a statement.

Major portions of the integrated offering should be available late this year and in early 2006, Charlie Guyer, a spokesman for Paris-based Alcatel, said.

Both companies have been making an IPTV push over the last year. For SBC's Project Lightspeed fiber rollout, Alcatel is providing network access and switching gear while Amdocs is supplying ordering, billing and customer relationship software.

Alcatel and Chesterfield, Mo.-based Amdocs have several other shared customers, including Bell Canada and Telus, Guyer said.

In addition to SBC, Verizon is also moving ahead with IPTV plans to compete with cable operators.

IPTV is a crucial piece of the regional telecoms' multi-billion-dollar plans to use fiber-optic cable to deliver a "triple-play" bundle of television, phone and high-speed Internet services to consumers.

The IPTV services will include customizable channel lineups, video-on-demand, digital video recording, interactive program guides, event notifications and content protection features.