[Contact]

Daily breaking news

πŸ”’
❌ About FreshRSS
There are new available articles, click to refresh the page.
Today β€” September 18th 2018Telecom

FRK demands strong conditions for Unitymedia Vodafone merger

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German cable operator association FRK calls for tough conditions from the competition and regulatory authorities to be imposed on Vodafone in the antitrust review of the planned acquisition of Unitymedia.

“The merger should only be approved if the new telecommunications giant grants its customers in the housing industry a special right of termination for all existing contracts. In addition, the company must be regulated in the broadband market and committed to open access because of its size,” FRK chairman Heinz-Peter Labonte said at the FRK Broadband Congress in Leipzig.

Due to the considerably growing market power regarding financing, digitisation and bundled offers as well as a market share of more than 80% in the cable market, FRK expects that it will become increasingly difficult for small and medium-sized network operators to cope with competition.

“It will become nearly impossible for our members to move into other coverage areas. On the other hand, it will be much easier for the larger Vodafone to attack them in their local markets with all its might. We have therefore submitted applications for hearings at the EU Commission and at the Federal German Cartel Office as part of the preliminary proceedings currently underway in order to present our positions,” explained Labonte.

FRK is not only concerned with the cable TV market. In view of almost 30 million addressable households, the significantly larger Vodafone plays a key role in Germany’s expansion into a gigabit society and the next mobile communications standard 5G. “In view of this market power, open access should become mandatory for Vodafone and the company should be subject to regulation,” stressed Labonte. “For medium-sized and municipal companies increasingly serving their customers via fibre-optic lines, open access has long been a matter of course.”

FRK demands strong conditions for Unitymedia Vodafone merger

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German cable operator association FRK calls for tough conditions from the competition and regulatory authorities to be imposed on Vodafone in the antitrust review of the planned acquisition of Unitymedia.

“The merger should only be approved if the new telecommunications giant grants its customers in the housing industry a special right of termination for all existing contracts. In addition, the company must be regulated in the broadband market and committed to open access because of its size,” FRK chairman Heinz-Peter Labonte said at the FRK Broadband Congress in Leipzig.

Due to the considerably growing market power regarding financing, digitisation and bundled offers as well as a market share of more than 80% in the cable market, FRK expects that it will become increasingly difficult for small and medium-sized network operators to cope with competition.

“It will become nearly impossible for our members to move into other coverage areas. On the other hand, it will be much easier for the larger Vodafone to attack them in their local markets with all its might. We have therefore submitted applications for hearings at the EU Commission and at the Federal German Cartel Office as part of the preliminary proceedings currently underway in order to present our positions,” explained Labonte.

FRK is not only concerned with the cable TV market. In view of almost 30 million addressable households, the significantly larger Vodafone plays a key role in Germany’s expansion into a gigabit society and the next mobile communications standard 5G. “In view of this market power, open access should become mandatory for Vodafone and the company should be subject to regulation,” stressed Labonte. “For medium-sized and municipal companies increasingly serving their customers via fibre-optic lines, open access has long been a matter of course.”

SERAPHIC solution goes on Android smartphones

By Chris Dziadul

SERAPHIC has released the Sraf Mobi HbbTV+ solution, which leverages SERAPHIC Android HbbTV 2 SDK and smartphones to empower rich OTT services with limited cost.

It aims to help pay-TV operators minimise CAPEX, and get back to control on revenue via customised and branded user experience (UX) in emerging markets.

The solution works well on zapper STBs. As a result, pay-TV operators are able to keep old subscribers on board and appeal to new ones at a reduced cost.

With Sraf Mobi HbbTV+, a new configuration emerges. Namely, feature TV + low-end STB + smartphone = connected smart TV; ease smart home scenarios; and facilitate CAPEX & consumer reach management.

Sraf Mobi HbbTV+ turns smartphones into TV connected devices. It also supports the same security level DRM (Digital Rights Management) as the on-device HbbTV solution.

Commenting on the Sraf Mobi HbbTV+ solution, Xinwen Xue, VP product management at SERAPHIC, said, “As an HbbTV 2 technology forerunner, SERAPHIC is glad to leverage the trendiest HbbTV 2 technology with smartphones, innovatively enabling them to act as companion device to cast and play DRM-enabled video onto the big TV screen, serve rich OTT services and improve user friendliness on ultra-low-end devices. We are looking forward to forge cooperation with more pay-TV operators, ODMs to create fun experience as well as rising revenue!”

Philips PDS/SMiT debut VSecure CAM Module

By Chris Dziadul

SMiT and Philips Professional Display Solutions have partnered to launch the first conditional access module to feature the VSecure encryption system.

The VSecure encryption system is a patented and proprietary Digital Rights Management System, originally launched in 2008 and now effectively the de facto standard for encryption technology in the European professional TV market.

Approved by all major content providers the VSecure system is owned by Philips Professional Display Solutions and allows encryption and protection from content copying over any RF or IP based medium. A wide range of head-end providers supports the VSecure standard.

Commenting on the new CAM module Robert Bartelds, director of product for Philips professional TVs, said: ‘This is a great example of a successful project that combines the skills of a number of companies who are each the best in their field. VSecure is already the standard for DRM in Europe, the new CAM module will extend the system’s reach and finally allow content in locations where DRMs were traditionally not available.”

The new VSecure CAM module has made its debut at IBC (SMiT D86, Hall 1) and is available generally from the middle of this month.

Orange counters UPC FTTH claims

By Chris Dziadul

Orange has accused UPC of falsely claiming to be offering a 1Gbps FTTH service in Poland.

In a release, the company says it has devoted “a lot of work, time and money” to make fibre-optics synonymous with the best and fastest internet. It goes on to say that UPC does not offer true FTTH, instead bringing fibre-optic close to buildings and then using coaxial cable to reach customers. What is more, UPC is really using DOCSIS and HFC technology, and its Giga Connect Box cannot be connected to fibre-optic.

Orange adds that a similar situation existed in France before the regulator stepped in. As a result, cable operators there now advertise their services as “fibre with coax termination”.

Broadband TV News notes that UPC launched its first 1Gbps service in Poland in Warsaw earlier this month.

Orange counters UPC FTTH claims

By Chris Dziadul

Orange has accused UPC of falsely claiming to be offering a 1Gbps FTTH service in Poland.

In a release, the company says it has devoted “a lot of work, time and money” to make fibre-optics synonymous with the best and fastest internet. It goes on to say that UPC does not offer true FTTH, instead bringing fibre-optic close to buildings and then using coaxial cable to reach customers. What is more, UPC is really using DOCSIS and HFC technology, and its Giga Connect Box cannot be connected to fibre-optic.

Orange adds that a similar situation existed in France before the regulator stepped in. As a result, cable operators there now advertise their services as “fibre with coax termination”.

Broadband TV News notes that UPC launched its first 1Gbps service in Poland in Warsaw earlier this month.

Orange counters UPC FTTH claims

By Chris Dziadul

Orange has accused UPC of falsely claiming to be offering a 1Gbps FTTH service in Poland.

In a release, the company says it has devoted “a lot of work, time and money” to make fibre-optics synonymous with the best and fastest internet. It goes on to say that UPC does not offer true FTTH, instead bringing fibre-optic close to buildings and then using coaxial cable to reach customers. What is more, UPC is really using DOCSIS and HFC technology, and its Giga Connect Box cannot be connected to fibre-optic.

Orange adds that a similar situation existed in France before the regulator stepped in. As a result, cable operators there now advertise their services as “fibre with coax termination”.

Broadband TV News notes that UPC launched its first 1Gbps service in Poland in Warsaw earlier this month.

NENT Group secures Danish UEFA Euro 2020 rights

By Julian Clover

NENT Group has secured the Danish rights to UEFA Euro 2020, which will be made available on its streaming service Viaplay.

Copenhagen will host three group matches and one round-of-16 game UEFA Euro 2020, which will be played in 12 cities across Europe.

The competition will begin in June to with the final kicking off at London’s Wembley Stadium on 12 July.

Anders Jensen, NENT Group President and CEO: “This is yet another milestone for NENT Group – the first time we’re covering a UEFA European Football Championship in a Nordic country. We launched our company this summer with the region’s biggest ever week of sports rights announcements, and as this fantastic news shows, NENT Group is just getting started.”

NENT Group will sublicence part of the rights to DR (Danmarks Radio), including matches featuring the Danish national side if the team qualifies for the tournament.

NENT Group secures Danish UEFA Euro 2020 rights

By Julian Clover

NENT Group has secured the Danish rights to UEFA Euro 2020, which will be made available on its streaming service Viaplay.

Copenhagen will host three group matches and one round-of-16 game UEFA Euro 2020, which will be played in 12 cities across Europe.

The competition will begin in June to with the final kicking off at London’s Wembley Stadium on 12 July.

Anders Jensen, NENT Group President and CEO: “This is yet another milestone for NENT Group – the first time we’re covering a UEFA European Football Championship in a Nordic country. We launched our company this summer with the region’s biggest ever week of sports rights announcements, and as this fantastic news shows, NENT Group is just getting started.”

NENT Group will sublicence part of the rights to DR (Danmarks Radio), including matches featuring the Danish national side if the team qualifies for the tournament.

Pay-TV market contracts in Moldova

By Chris Dziadul

The number of pay-TV subscribers in Moldova fell by 1.8% in the year to June 30.

According to figures published by the regulator ANRCETI, to stood at 317,900, while revenues in H1 were 2.3% lower than in the corresponding period in 2017, amounting to MDL78.704 million (€3.977 million).

ANRCETI notes that the fall in subscriber numbers was down to a reduction of those receiving cable services. It fell by 17,900, or 9.7%, in the first six months of this year to 166,300.

On the other hand, the IPTV subscriber base grew by 12,000 (8.7%) to 151,700. Pay-TV penetration per 100 inhabitants fell by 0.2 percentage points to 9%.

As of the end of H1, 52.3% of pay-TV subscribers opted for IPTV and 47.7% for cable. At the same time, 60.9% of subscribers used digital and 39.1% analogue services.

Both cable and IPTV saw reductions in revenues. In the former case, they amounted to MDL41.505 million in H1, or 4.1% (MDL1.8 million) less than a year earlier.

IPTV revenues in the same period fell by MDL67,000 to MDL37.2 million.

As a result, ARPU fell by 13%,or MDL6, to MDL40.4.

Pay-TV market contracts in Moldova

By Chris Dziadul

The number of pay-TV subscribers in Moldova fell by 1.8% in the year to June 30.

According to figures published by the regulator ANRCETI, to stood at 317,900, while revenues in H1 were 2.3% lower than in the corresponding period in 2017, amounting to MDL78.704 million (€3.977 million).

ANRCETI notes that the fall in subscriber numbers was down to a reduction of those receiving cable services. It fell by 17,900, or 9.7%, in the first six months of this year to 166,300.

On the other hand, the IPTV subscriber base grew by 12,000 (8.7%) to 151,700. Pay-TV penetration per 100 inhabitants fell by 0.2 percentage points to 9%.

As of the end of H1, 52.3% of pay-TV subscribers opted for IPTV and 47.7% for cable. At the same time, 60.9% of subscribers used digital and 39.1% analogue services.

Both cable and IPTV saw reductions in revenues. In the former case, they amounted to MDL41.505 million in H1, or 4.1% (MDL1.8 million) less than a year earlier.

IPTV revenues in the same period fell by MDL67,000 to MDL37.2 million.

As a result, ARPU fell by 13%,or MDL6, to MDL40.4.

BT extends UKTV catch-up

By Julian Clover

BT will include a greater selection of UKTV catch-up content following a new agreement with the broadcaster.

It also ensures continued access to UKTV’s suite of channels that includes Dave, Gold, W, Alibi, Good Food and Eden. The channels have been carried on BT TV since launch.

Tony Singh, Content and Business Development Director for BT’s Consumer division, said: “Our continued UKTV partnership allows us to keep giving our customers a brilliant range of entertainment, comedy, drama, and lifestyle channels. Our customers love those channels and can, uniquely to BT TV, combine them with services like Netflix, Amazon and NOW TV to give them the flexibility to view a wide range of fantastic content.”

For the first time VOD will be available in the HD format and a selection of shows will also be available to download and play on the new BT TV app that now gives customers the ability to download and access content on the go as well as access to a range of TV platforms.

Simon Michaelides, Chief Commercial Officer, UKTV, said: “We’re very pleased to be building on our already strong relationship with BT. UKTV channels play a significant role for BT TV customers, so it’s great to be able to extend our VoD services and give them more of the shows that they love, as well as an exciting and expanding portfolio of original new shows and exclusive acquisitions.”

Last month a dispute between UKTV and Virgin Media was settled with an extension to the on demand packages that include UKTV original content, but not shows from the BBC library.

NENT Group Norway appoints new CEO

By Robert Briel

Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group) has appointed Vegard Klubbenes Drogseth as CEO of NENT Group Norway.

Drogseth takes on the responsibility for NENT Group’s Norwegian broadcast TV, streaming and radio operations. The appointment is effective immediately and follows the decision by Morten Aass, who has served as CEO of NENT Group Norway since 2017, to take on a new role as Group-wide advisor on strategic content projects to Anders Jensen, NENT Group President and CEO.

Vegard was previously Head of Pay TV Norway at NENT Group, a role in which he was also locally responsible for Viaplay in Norway. He joined NENT Group as a trainee in 2004.

Anders Jensen, NENT Group President and CEO: “Vegard is a perfect fit for this role and yet another example of the pipeline of leaders we have at NENT Group. He has a long track record in helping to create our unique cross-platform position in Norway while inspiring his teams and supporting our customers and partners. Morten Aass has made a significant contribution as CEO in Norway, and I’m happy that he will now focus on accelerating one of NENT Group’s key competitive differentiators – our one-of-a-kind storytelling.”

Vegard Klubbenes Drogseth, CEO of NENT Group Norway: “TV3, P4, Viasat, Viaplay and Viafree offer the best entertainment experiences in Norway. I’m excited about developing this fully integrated ecosystem together with the best team in the business, and reinforcing our status as the number one choice for viewers, listeners, customers and partners.”

Morten Aass: “I look forward to focusing fully on my passion for content in my new role, and I know that our talented Norwegian team is in excellent hands. There are so many opportunities ahead for NENT Group and I can think of no one better than Vegard – with his insights, experience and commitment – to lead our business in Norway.”

RDK launches app programme for service providers worldwide

By Robert Briel

At the 2018 RDK European Summit, RDK Management unveiled a new app programme to make it easier to develop and launch apps consistently across RDK-based set-top boxes.

The two-pronged programme gives service providers the flexibility to use a versatile new RDK App Framework to build and manage their own solutions, or choose a RDK pre-integrated app store solution such as the Metrological App Store.

“Today marks a significant milestone in the history of the RDK,” said Steve Heeb, president and general manager of RDK Management.

“Since inception, the RDK community focused on bringing transparency and standardization to certain technical functions of video set-top boxes and broadband gateways, enabling service providers to focus on their consumer-facing applications and UIs. Thanks to the RDK community, this new open source RDK App Framework will make it even easier for service providers to develop, launch, and manage apps in a consistent way across RDK set-top boxes. To be clear, RDK Management is not in the ‘app business’ itself, but rather ‘app enablement’ with our partners.

“Our community also includes many operators who simply want their own white-labeled app store that works across RDK set-top boxes. To support them, we’re pleased to name Metrological as the first RDK pre-integrated app store. It’s a clear testament to Metrological’s capabilities and ongoing contributions to the RDK community.”

The new RDK App Framework allows service providers to integrate apps into the TV viewing experience, provides onboarding and life cycle management tools, and enables app portability across various set-top box models. Specifically, application developers and service providers can now easily create HTML5 and native applications on set-top boxes using the new RDK App Framework and RDK Firebolt App SDK.

Driven by the RDK open source community, with key contributions from Metrological, it provides a complete development, build, and test environment for Web and native apps across RDK-based set-top boxes. Service providers now have a common technical framework to support native premium video apps, such as Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video, along with a wide-variety of niche or third-party HTML5 apps. Technical details are available at: https://wiki.rdkcentral.com/display/RDK/Firebolt.

For service providers seeking a more turnkey solution, Metrological’s App Store was named as the first RDK pre-integrated app store. Metrological’s App Store has been tested, integrated, and deployed on RDK-based set-top boxes to meet the rigorous performance standards of TV service providers. It includes access to a library of 300+ apps. In addition, the App Store can be used to launch premium video apps such as Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video; local and regionalised apps; and all of the back-office tools needed to launch and manage the lifecycle of an app store. Content providers are able to reach over 40 million households across operator networks by uploading a single app onto the Metrological App Library.

“Metrological is very proud of our contributions to the RDK App Framework and to be named the first RDK pre-integrated app store,” said Jeroen Ghijsen, CEO of Metrological.

“The Metrological App Store has a small footprint suitable for new or legacy implementations, with a back-office that allows operators to personalize the TV viewer experience by quickly responding to changing consumer interests. Our App Store gives operators complete control over which apps they wish to support and promote on their platforms.”

RDK Management has also partnered with Metrological and leading STB provider Arris International to provide a new support tool and IP STB reference integration that allows operators to expedite application development, testing, and ultimately service deployment. Application developers and service providers can now utilize an IP set-top box powered by RDK software and pre-loaded with the Metrological App store.

Broadband TV Views. RDK is making an important step forward by launching this app programme, especially since Android TV is making progress and small to medium sized operator are embracing Google’s technology in order to bring the fast increasing number of OTT services directly to the STB.

Having developed hundreds of apps, Metrological is now in a prime position to play an important role in this development.

At this year’s IBC in Amsterdam Google was present with a big stand, which shows the company is now taking TV very seriously. Meanwhile, Apple did not have stand, but a few top people involved with TV were around. With two European platforms, Canal+ and Salt from Switzerland now using the Apple TV box the company is making slow progress in the TV space, but its strategy remains clouded in mystery.

Exclusive: TV Spielfilm live to drop free package

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German streaming service TV Spielfilm live will shut down its free Basic package on October 1, 2018, a spokeswoman of operating company Hubert Burda Media confirmed to Broadband TV News.

Only the subscription package will be continued. “With the move, we are reacting to the usage behaviour of our customers,” explained the spokeswoman. The customers of the Premium package used the service for much longer and more frequently on a smart TV set than Basic users. “For this reason, we decided to simplify our portfolio, focus on one package and make it even more attractive.”

From October 1, 2018, the Premium package will be called the Live TV package and include more HD channels at no extra charge: For €9.99 per month, customers will receive over 80 TV channels, more than 60 in HD quality – in future including the channels of the ProSiebenSat.1 group. The programmes can be recorded, restarted and paused. The recording space amounts to 50 hours.

Further HD channels will follow shortly, said the spokeswoman. In addition, the restart and recording functions will be expanded.

The OTT service TV Spielfilm live launched in July 2015 and is accessible via smartphone, tablet and PC as well as on the TV set via Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Google Chromecast.

Exclusive: TV Spielfilm live to drop free package

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German streaming service TV Spielfilm live will shut down its free Basic package on October 1, 2018, a spokeswoman of operating company Hubert Burda Media confirmed to Broadband TV News.

Only the subscription package will be continued. “With the move, we are reacting to the usage behaviour of our customers,” explained the spokeswoman. The customers of the Premium package used the service for much longer and more frequently on a smart TV set than Basic users. “For this reason, we decided to simplify our portfolio, focus on one package and make it even more attractive.”

From October 1, 2018, the Premium package will be called the Live TV package and include more HD channels at no extra charge: For €9.99 per month, customers will receive over 80 TV channels, more than 60 in HD quality – in future including the channels of the ProSiebenSat.1 group. The programmes can be recorded, restarted and paused. The recording space amounts to 50 hours.

Further HD channels will follow shortly, said the spokeswoman. In addition, the restart and recording functions will be expanded.

The OTT service TV Spielfilm live launched in July 2015 and is accessible via smartphone, tablet and PC as well as on the TV set via Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Google Chromecast.

Yesterday β€” September 17th 2018Telecom

Vivacom partners with Stream Television Company

By Chris Dziadul

Bulgaria’s Vivacom has entered into an agreement with Stream Television Company to deliver its international feed for pay-TV platforms across Europe and the CIS.

As a result, Vivacom, the largest telco in Bulgaria operating one of Europe’s few Tier 3 certified teleports in Europe, will distribute the international version of the hunting and fishing channel Rybalka I Okhota.

Commenting on the development, Dmitry Sokolov, Stream Television Company CTO, said: “With Vivacom, we have now found a partner to help us deliver the international version of the popular TV channel in the best way, increasing the footprint, reliability, and providing outstanding service”.

Vladimir Rangelov, head of broadcasting in Vivacom, added: Vivacom’s MCPC platform on Eutelsat 36E, provides unique wide coverage over the whole of Europe, Middle East and part of Asia, allowing content providers to reliably distribute their channels across large number of head ends in an efficient and cost-effective way”.

Stream Television Company is based in Russia and owns 17 channels, including Rybalka I Okhota.

Vivacom partners with Stream Television Company

By Chris Dziadul

Bulgaria’s Vivacom has entered into an agreement with Stream Television Company to deliver its international feed for pay-TV platforms across Europe and the CIS.

As a result, Vivacom, the largest telco in Bulgaria operating one of Europe’s few Tier 3 certified teleports in Europe, will distribute the international version of the hunting and fishing channel Rybalka I Okhota.

Commenting on the development, Dmitry Sokolov, Stream Television Company CTO, said: “With Vivacom, we have now found a partner to help us deliver the international version of the popular TV channel in the best way, increasing the footprint, reliability, and providing outstanding service”.

Vladimir Rangelov, head of broadcasting in Vivacom, added: Vivacom’s MCPC platform on Eutelsat 36E, provides unique wide coverage over the whole of Europe, Middle East and part of Asia, allowing content providers to reliably distribute their channels across large number of head ends in an efficient and cost-effective way”.

Stream Television Company is based in Russia and owns 17 channels, including Rybalka I Okhota.

Vivacom partners with Stream Television Company

By Chris Dziadul

Bulgaria’s Vivacom has entered into an agreement with Stream Television Company to deliver its international feed for pay-TV platforms across Europe and the CIS.

As a result, Vivacom, the largest telco in Bulgaria operating one of Europe’s few Tier 3 certified teleports in Europe, will distribute the international version of the hunting and fishing channel Rybalka I Okhota.

Commenting on the development, Dmitry Sokolov, Stream Television Company CTO, said: “With Vivacom, we have now found a partner to help us deliver the international version of the popular TV channel in the best way, increasing the footprint, reliability, and providing outstanding service”.

Vladimir Rangelov, head of broadcasting in Vivacom, added: Vivacom’s MCPC platform on Eutelsat 36E, provides unique wide coverage over the whole of Europe, Middle East and part of Asia, allowing content providers to reliably distribute their channels across large number of head ends in an efficient and cost-effective way”.

Stream Television Company is based in Russia and owns 17 channels, including Rybalka I Okhota.

Vivacom partners with Stream Television Company

By Chris Dziadul

Bulgaria’s Vivacom has entered into an agreement with Stream Television Company to deliver its international feed for pay-TV platforms across Europe and the CIS.

As a result, Vivacom, the largest telco in Bulgaria operating one of Europe’s few Tier 3 certified teleports in Europe, will distribute the international version of the hunting and fishing channel Rybalka I Okhota.

Commenting on the development, Dmitry Sokolov, Stream Television Company CTO, said: “With Vivacom, we have now found a partner to help us deliver the international version of the popular TV channel in the best way, increasing the footprint, reliability, and providing outstanding service”.

Vladimir Rangelov, head of broadcasting in Vivacom, added: Vivacom’s MCPC platform on Eutelsat 36E, provides unique wide coverage over the whole of Europe, Middle East and part of Asia, allowing content providers to reliably distribute their channels across large number of head ends in an efficient and cost-effective way”.

Stream Television Company is based in Russia and owns 17 channels, including Rybalka I Okhota.

❌