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Volume 12, Number 15, April 27, 2009 - Comcast Plans for Online Channel Line-Up

Industry Events

PR & Marketing Conference
(Apr 26-28)

 

ANPI's 2009 Annual Meeting (May 4-5)

 

HR Conference (May 17-19)

 

Regional Meetings (July-Oct)

 

OSHA Seminar (June 4-5)

 

The Marketplace

 

Femtocells and Wireless Substitution: 2009 Prospects

 

DTV Transition Q&A for Telcos

 

Log On, Link Up and Learn

 

 

 

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Register today to take advantage of an affordable two-day meeting, close to home. The 2009 Regional Meetings will offer resources and training on "Finding Opportunities in Tough Economic Times." Understand the outlook and trends of the economy to unlock business opportunities for your telco with noted economist Dr. Seifried. Key topics also will include product positioning tactics, application-layer services, important federal initiatives and cooperative business practices. Find more details on your region's meeting and registration here.


Volume 12, Number 15, April 27, 2009

Comcast Plans for Online Channel Line-Up

Cisco and Avail Media Offer Complete IPTV Solution

AT&T Reports Strong Financial Growth, Verizon Tops It

WildBlue to Demo 18 Mbps Satellite Service

GE Achieves Storage Breakthrough, 500 GB on a Disc

...And last but not least, our video of the week


Comcast Plans for Online Channel Line-Up

Comcast will soon make its cable TV content available to its subscribers on the Internet.

Comcast "on demand" online video service will allow subscribers to sign in with a username and password, then access any standard or premium cable content that their cable subscription entitles them to watch, according to Karin Gilford, the Comcast Interactive executive in charge of the cable provider's Fancast video site.

Gilford spoke to PC World last week and broke the news, although she declined to give specifics on the timing of the launch or available content. She did note, however, that the valued-added service initially will be free of charge to Comcast customers, although the cable provider may charge for the service in the future.

The article points out that premium content currently is scattered throughout the Web in many different formats and pricing models. Because of this complexity and the demands of the video content owners, offering a "be-all" video site is challenging.

Comcast, with its long-standing relationships with virtually all major video content producers (the networks, HBO, CNN, etc.), is in a unique position to provide a single, omnibus video site that showcases a wide variety of content and a consistent technology. Those relationships also might allow Fancast to feature content that other online video sites don't have.

If Comcast can succeed in bringing all of that content online, and making it searchable via a keyboard, it could become a formidable opponent to power players like YouTube and Hulu.

Read the PC World article.


Cisco and Avail Media Offer Complete IPTV Solution

Cisco Systems and Avail Media have announced an end-to-end IPTV solution. The partnership integrates Avail Media's satellite distribution of MPEG-4 video content with Cisco's IP Next-Generation Network (NGN) architecture capabilities, including IPTV encoding, encapsulation, middleware and digital rights management, scrambling and descrambling, satellite receivers, conditional access, set-top provision, service management, systems integration services, and program management for video-hub office components.

"We're harnessing Cisco's networking heritage and IPTV expertise and combining it with our proven IP-based video solution to give service providers the means to launch profitable IPTV services quickly, while helping them control their capital costs and ongoing operational expenses," said Ramu Potarazu, chief executive officer, Avail Media.

Both vendors plan to offer systems integration support, and services will be managed through Cisco's National Control Center.

Read Cisco's press release.


AT&T Reports Strong Financial Growth, Verizon Tops It

Last week telecom giant AT&T reported first quarter 2009 earnings, unveiling a slight decline in revenue for the second straight period. The company profited by $3.1 billion, but this was a 9% decline from the same quarter last year.

AT&T added 1.2 million net new wireless subscribers and its overall wireless data revenue increased 38.6% to $3.2 billion.

AT&T, the exclusive U.S. provider for the iPhone, took a huge risk when it deeply subsidized the device, but the iPhone is proving to be the carrier’s saving grace. AT&T activated more than 1.6 million iPhone 3G devices during the quarter. More than 40% of those new iPhone subscribers were new to the company, and those customers tend to spend about 1.6 times more on wireless data services than other AT&T customers.

Some analysts were quick to point out that AT&T depends too heavily on one device. Of note, there have been widespread rumors that Verizon Wireless is in talks with Apple to bring a CDMA version of the iPhone to Verizon's network. No one has officially commented on the rumors.

AT&T's video and broadband services also posted strong growth. AT&T added 284,000 U-verse subscribers in the first quarter, for a total subscriber base of 1.3 million, and added 359,000 new broadband Internet subscribers.

AT&T's voice revenue decreased 0.6% to $30.57 billion. It’s clear that in this weakening economy, business and residential clients are paring back costs, at the expense of their home phone lines.

In related news, rival Verizon Communications reported first-quarter earnings: a 5.3% increase in net income to $3.21 billion, and an 11% increase in revenue to $26.6 billion.

The company added 1.3 million wireless subscribers during the first quarter, topping AT&T wireless customer additions of 1.2 million which shocked many analysts.

Verizon also noted contributions from its FiOS broadband services, as FiOS TV collected 299,000 new subscribers during the quarter and FiOS Internet attracted 298,000 subscribers. Similar to AT&T, Verizon's overall wireline revenue fell; residential landline connections dropped 10.4%.

Read Verizon's press release.
View AT&T's financial release.


WildBlue to Demo 18 Mbps Satellite Service

WildBlue Communications, a Colorado-based broadband Internet provider, is bringing its "next generation" satellite capabilities to Denver for a hands-on demonstration. WildBlue has brought its mobile demonstration trailer to Denver to showcase download speeds approaching 18 Mbps, 12 times faster than current WildBlue service.

The demo is intended as an opportunity for visitors to experience the new speeds alongside the current high-speed Internet service, used by nearly 400,000 WildBlue customers in the rural United States, including 11,000 subscribers in Colorado.

The demo is planned for April 29, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., at 1450 Grant Street, directly east of the State Capitol in Denver.


GE Achieves Storage Breakthrough, 500 GB on a Disc

General Electric announced today that it has achieved a breakthrough in digital storage that enables standard-size discs to hold the equivalent of 100 DVDs, or 500 GB of data.

The storage advance is confined to the lab, and has yet to be mass produced at an affordable cost. However, optical storage experts and industry analysts who were told of the development contend that it holds promise for commercial, scientific and consumer markets.

"This could be the next generation of low-cost storage," said Richard Doherty, an analyst at Envisioneering, a technology research firm.

The development is in the field of microholographic storage, an optical process that stores small, three-dimensional images and digital data. GE’s team achieved a 200-fold increase in the reflective power of their holograms, putting them at the bottom range of light reflections readable by current Blu-ray machines.

According to the company, GE's holographic discs are capable of holding 500 GB of data. To put this in perspective, Blu-ray currently is available in 25 GB and 50 GB discs, and a standard DVD holds 5 GB.

GE expects to introduce the technology in 2011 or 2012, for a cost of less than 10 cents a GB, and market the technology to commercial markets, including movie studios, television networks, medical researchers and hospitals.

View the release.


And, last but not least, our video of the week: CTIA wrap-up.

Have you recently seen a funny, entertaining or informational video? "The New Edge" would love to hear from you. Please send your suggestions for the next "video of the week" to jward@ntca.org and your video might be featured in an upcoming issue.


PR & Marketing Conference


The Marketplace

Femtocells and Wireless Substitution: 2009 Prospects
2008 was hyped as the year of the femtocell, billed as the next big thing in fixed-mobile convergence (FMC). Industry analysts predicted widespread market roll out. It’s clear this goal was not achieved.Where do we stand now? Will the technology ever come to fruition? How should a traditional landline provider respond to this competitive threat? Read the ePaper to learn more.

DTV Transition Q&A for Telcos - Updated with Delay Info!
NTCA has prepared a question and answer document for telco customer service representatives to use to address customer calls about the digital television transition. The document features explanations for a broad range of typical questions. Also, this information piece may be used by telcos for posting on your Web site or in your upcoming newsletters. NTCA encourages you to use this downloadable document for your efforts to educate customers about the upcoming changes to DTV. If you have any questions, please contact Steve Fravel at 703-351-2012.

Log On, Link Up and Learn. Join NTCA’s Tech Community
As you well know, the telecom industry is evolving at an increasingly fast pace. Rural telecom professionals need to maintain access lines and trouble-shoot existing issues, while also developing new, cutting-edge technologies. Learn new strategies to manage the chaos and keep up with industry trends. Join NTCA's Tech Community today and utilize one of your best assets – your peers. Visit http://tech.ntca.org to learn more.


Industry Events

PR & Marketing Conference (Apr 26-28)
Learn how to deliver the ultimate customer experience and increase your business bottom line. Speaker Scott Deming will provide the opening keynote and provide key insights and tactics that will enable you to create loyal and happy customers. The conference includes sessions on target marketing, copywriting and social media. This conference to be held April 26-28, 2009, Albuquerque, N.M. Register.

ANPI's 2009 Annual Meeting (May 4-5), Scottsdale, AZ
Visit the Web site for more information!

HR Conference (May 17-19)
Expand your knowledge, build your arsenal of skills, provide guidance and strengthen organizational performance. Learn to use your best resources and navigate in a changing economy. Join us for NTCA's Human Resources Conference on May 17-19 at Albuquerque, N.M. Register.

Regional Meetings (July-Oct)
Register today to take advantage of an affordable two-day meeting, close to home. The 2009 Regional Meetings will offer resources and training on "Finding Opportunities in Tough Economic Times." Understand the outlook and trends of the economy to unlock business opportunities for your telco with noted economist Dr. Seifried. Key topics also will include product positioning tactics, application-layer services, important federal initiatives and cooperative business practices. Find more details on your region's meeting and registration here.

OSHA Seminar (June 4-5)
Join NTCA on June 4-5, 2009 at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel - Chicago O'Hare Airport located in Shiller Park, Ill. for this OSHA seminar. Topics will cover telecommunications-specific compliance,   OSHA inspections and citations, record keeping requirements, emergency action, hazard communications, and more. Learn how to manage and maintain effective safety programs. Register.

 

 

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