The deployments by cable operators, stand-alone VoIP providers, wireless entities and telephone companies have proven that content is king and that telcos need to offer at least a triple play of services to entice and retain customers. It is becoming evident that telcos will have to continue to evolve their networks and operations to provide even more services if they are to remain competitive.
Customers’ expectations are becoming much more sophisticated and demanding on both the networks, as well as the service that is provided by those networks. Customers are beginning to expect content or services delivered to them in a manner when they want, where they want and how they want. This expectation of service portability will have major impacts on the technology in the underlying wired and wireless networks, the regulatory environment and the mix of content offered by telcos.
The IP Video Conference @ Telecom ’04 will explore the current state of the market and look ahead to how the technology, content, services and regulations will evolve and what steps telcos can take to ensure that their businesses stay on top of these trends. Speakers will include industry leaders from operators of wired and wireless networks, regulatory experts and content licensors.
Planned sessions at this one and a half day conference include:
Tuesday, October 12th 2004
Opening Comments: 2:00-2:15
It is a given that a telecom provider needs to be able to deploy a network that supports today’s menu of services, which include voice, Internet and video. Within each of these service offerings, there are multiple current and future requirements that will drive the need for increased bandwidth, as well as requiring new and different intelligence within the network. Understanding current and future requirements is central to making the correct technology choices.
This panel of industry experts will take a look at the current drivers, such as HDTV, VOD, VoIP, Wireless, and peer into their crystal balls to determine future customer requirements that will shape a telco’s infrastructure choices.
Paul Bertino, Director of Sales &
Marketing, Hickory Tech
The silos that once separated services, such as telephony, video and the Internet, are quickly disappearing. Whether it is voicemail via email, caller identification on television set-top boxes, or text messaging on wireless phones, services are melding together. Consumers are embracing these advances and are beginning to demand a world where they can retrieve or create any sort of content on any device any time they want. The impact of this convergence of services is driving a plethora of new consumer electronic devices.
This panel will explore the challenges faced by the service providers as they evolve their business to meet the ever-changing paradigm surrounding the consumer electronic interface. Topics of discussion will include Personal Video Recorders, the impact of the Open Cable Application Platform on telcos, the role of the residential gateway, home networking technologies and other Internet-connected appliances.
Michelle Abraham, Sr. Analyst, Cahners
Wednesday, October 13th, 2004
The web of laws and regulations to offer traditional voice service, although complex, are familiar to a telco offering traditional telephony services. As video and other new services are layered into the mix, an entirely new set of rules and regulations apply. Rules covering topics such as copyright, must-carry, retransmission consent, emergency-alert and non-duplication are just some examples of what a telco has to become familiar with, if they are going to provide franchised cable television services. This session will provide a high-level overview of the areas that a telco needs to know about when entering the video distribution business.
It has become cliché to say, “build it and they will come.” A state-of-the-art network architecture, such as Fiber to the Premise, which provides ample bandwidth, will certainly facilitate the adoption of many new applications. But, will the presence of an FTTH network draw service providers that wish simply to lease bandwidth and potentially compete against the facilities-based provider? Is there the possibility of regulatory requirements that could force network owners to unbundle their “fiber networks”? Are there technical restrictions that would prevent such an unbundling? Are there marketing reasons to consider an unbundling option and reach out to potential competitors as a way of growing the overall business? This panel will address the regulatory, technical and market viewpoints of this controversial issue.
Telco Content Options (10:00-11:15)
John Baghdassarian, Regional Vice
President, Independent Film Channel
Games are another form of content that are available to a telco that is providing broadband service. Online games are a proven market that will continue to experience double-digit growth as increasingly sophisticated online gaming communities continue to develop. This panel will look at the impact of games on a telco’s content strategy and different ways a telco can use gaming as a differentiator in their product offering.
Cable operators currently generate over 7% of their revenue from local advertising and this revenue stream is growing by double digits each year. As the costs of content production and the technology for ad insertion decrease, this category will continue to grow. This panel will explore how a telco, that is just entering the video business, can break into this market. Panelists will discuss the importance of existing community relationships in securing advertising deals. The panel will also look at how a telco can integrate their web and phone book advertising efforts into a package that includes a television component.
Allison Dollar, co-President, Interactive
Is VoIP a technology, service or is it content? From a consumer’s point of view, VoIP is clearly a service that provides features not found with traditional POTS, with pricing that is perceived to give much greater value. From a service provider’s standpoint, VoIP is content created by its customers. The challenge for an operator then is to get customers to use their VoIP service.
This leads to a number of questions including;
These are just a few of the questions that will be addressed in this hour long panel.
It is pretty much a given that bundling different services into packages is an effective way of adding new subscribers, while reducing the churn of existing subscribers. What happens when the competitor is also bundling comparable services? What other techniques and tools are available to a provider to make their offering rise above the competition? This panel will feature experts from various service providers who are successfully using bundling and other interesting sales and marketing techniques to grow their existing businesses and, in many cases, create entirely new ventures.
Agenda and speakers subject to change without notice.
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