Comcast’s decision to trial IP video services later this year using the new DOCSIS 3.0 data networking standard highlights the keen interest many cable operators around the world are showing in the possibilities of IPTV.
"The coming integration of IP video services into cable TV infrastructure is the result of a convergence of market forces," says ABI Research vice president Stan Schatt. Cable operators are feeling threatened from telecom operators, whose IP network configurations let them offer more dynamic services. The move to IP counters this threat for cable operators and lets them “up the ante” by adding mobile voice into their bundled offerings, he said.
Another driver for IP video is the need for improved network efficiency and more available broadband spectrum. To offer more services, cable operators need "bigger pipes." Their voice services are already IP, and they're already using IP over DOCSIS for data. Moving the video to IP as well will mean more efficient networks allowing more converged services, such as bringing voice and data services to customers through their TV sets.
DOCSIS 3.0 is also seen as one way to increase available spectrum because it removes some of the video from the multicast stream that is part of the traditional spectrum.
ABI Research recently published “Cable Television Infrastructure: Headend, Plant, Spectrum, Backhaul, STB and Revenue Analysis,” which sheds light on the infrastructure implications.
For more information, visit: www.abiresearch.com.