Nortel Makes Noise Over Its IPTV

Philippa Parry
March 10, 2016

Nortel Networks Ltd. are planning to attempt to endear its IPTV offerings to Tier 1 carriers and vendors at the IPTV World Forum this week.

Working upon their belief that the middleware market has become commoditized, Nortel is paving the way for its launch of a series of IPTV applications to be put on top of the middleware with the hope that they will create excite carriers.

Grant Hall, leader of video solutions marketing at Nortel, says that “part of our belief is that applications are where the future value is.”

Nortel’s soon-to-be-released Video Services Platform (VSP) 9500 sits on top of the IPTV middleware, enabling telcos to add Nortel’s (or any other vendor’s) applications to their service offerings.

Hall says that the versatile open-standard interfaces that the VSP is based on, allow it to work with any vendor’s middleware, is a major selling point.

Hall points out that because many operators already have in-house middleware built in, Nortel are able to build adaptors on – gaining valuable Tier 1 customers.

As such, Nortel is looking further than the IPTV middleware partnerships that it currently has with vendors such as Minerva Networks Inc.

While the company has made a fuss about developing its IPTV business, it has so far failed to gain much headway in that sector.

Nortel only has one major IPTV customer, Telus Corp. , as its six or seven other customers are Tier 2 and 3 operators.

There was speculation this time last year that Nortel would make acquisitions in IPTV, enabling them to develop an end-to-end offering, yet nothing ever came of the talk.

Instead, it has so far relied on reseller partnerships in conjunction with other vendors.

Applications are currently talked of as being Nortel’s strongest hand in moving successfully into Tier 1.

Hall believes that they are changing the game, allowing the role of the middleware provider to become less rigid, a “middleware-agnostic approach.”

Nortel does acknowledge that gaining Tier 1 business will be essential to its success in IPTV, especially as major IPTV carriers like AT&T Inc. are currently in the process of adding more applications to their services – it is whether it is the right time for Nortel to make a move on the space.

Examples of Nortel’s new IPTV applications will be shown at the IPTV World Forum show in London next week, include integrating voicemail and click-to-call features onto the TV screen, which are applications that Nortel says are not yet widely rolled out on IPTV networks.


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