Cisco and Avail Media announced a partnership to provide an end-to-end solution for IPTV. The partnership marries Avail’s Avail Connect with Cisco’s IP Next Generation Network. The solution enhances both partners’ portfolio of IPTV products, and hopes to attract IPTV service providers who want to outsource the content aggregation, transport, and system integration of an IPTV network. Cisco even intends to offer a ‘managed headend’ service which they claim will relieve service providers of ‘hiring staff’ to manage that important function. Both Cisco and Avail are hoping to seize the momentum for wholesale IPTV services, especially in light of IP Prime shutting down their competing service. “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, CEO of Avail Media in a joint statement.
This news joins a flurry of other IPTV news, generated primarily by IPTV related events occurring this week, including NAB and IP Possibilities. Tandberg, which builds headend equipment, had some news of their own this week which they hope deflates the wholesale IPTV argument. “We have seen lots of engagements around the head end and Ericsson’s new middleware,” Craig Knudsen, director of product marketing for Tandberg tells Telephony Online. Tandberg announced a recent win with North State Communications of North Carolina, who decided to go with Tandberg and build their own headend. All of this news is encouraging as it signals that IPTV is very much in play, making 2009 a very active year, despite the gloomy economic picture.