Swisscom had reached 728,000 subscribers…
… for its IPTV service ‘Swisscom TV’ by the end of September, up 31% from one year earlier, with 34,000 added in the preceding three months alone.
The number of fixed line broadband connections served in Switzerland rose by a far more modest 4.5% annually to reach 1.71mn, with 14,000 connections added in the third quarter. In Italy, the bundled TV and broadband offering launched a year ago by its local subsidiary Fastweb in partnership with Sky Italia has attracted 123,000 customers to date. Total revenues across all operations and markets for the first nine months of this year declined very slightly (1% year-on-year) to reach CHF 8.427bn (US$ 8.9bn), while net profits fell at a similar rate on an adjusted basis to reach CHF 1.528bn.
IP&TV News Editor’s view: The company deployed a “taste-and-mood” based content discovery engine last July for its IPTV service from Israeli firm Jinni – it will be interesting to see how this affects video consumption rates, and we will try to glean some information on this from Swisscom.
Will OTT rise to uncompetitive levels?
A recent report by IHSScreen Digest predicts reveals that the costs of OTT will rise to uncompetitive levels when they need to be scaled up to broadcast volume levels: the reasoning being that traditional broadcasting is delivered via multicasting and that OTT is delivered via unicasting. That is wrong. First of all, only linear content can be distributed via multicasting: VOD, trick play, replay TV, delay TV etc: all relies on unicasting delivery, whether it is delivered as a traditional cable or IPTV service or as OTT services.
The reality is that most OTT content actually is not linear content anyway. The reality is that with the industries’ move to new HTTP adaptive streaming technologies, they lose the ability to do multicasting.
Consumers need to accept that when their consumption patterns change, this could impact infrastructure scaling and could impact costs. Yes, linear television is cheap to deliver, but people want VOD and are willing to pay.
The reality is that proper CDNs mimic multicasting by relaying live streams via strategically placed edge devices, dramatically offloading unicast streams on the Web, internet exchanges, peers and backbones.
The reality is that networks do not have infinite bandwidth and routers have no infinite capacity to scale multicasts. Proper CDNs do a pretty well job in scaling this capacity.
One challenge in this industry is that more and more content is consumed on-demand, and that implies unicasting: whether the content is delivered via traditional cable or IPTV platforms or via OTT services.
3D channel High TV has launched in Belgium on Telenet’s cable platform.
The channel, which began airing in the US in 2010, airs entertainment shows, news, travel shows from around the world, exclusive dramas, comedies, fitness programmes and movies in 3D.
“We are delighted that we can now offer our subscribers 24/7 high quality native 3D programming,” said Benny Salaets, vice-president, content at Telenet.