A spokesman for Echostar confirmed today that Echostar will be shutting down ViP-TV, its wholesale IPTV MPEG-4 transport offering, within “the next couple of months.”
“Looking at the business environment, we decided to terminate the service,” the spokesman told Telecompetitor.
Customers have been notified, he said, and “we are talking to them on a case-by-case basis” about other options, which he declined to detail. The company does not envision a “one-thing-fits-all” solution, he said. Telecompetitor has learned that Echostar is sending letters to ViP-TV customers, informing them the service will begin shutting down on August 24th, with the service ending entirely on September 30th.
ViP-TV was launched in 2007 with the goal of enabling smaller network operators, including rural telcos, the ability to offer an IPTV powered multichannel subscription video offer to their customers using a DSL or FTTH broadband network. In 2009, Echostar put in place a program to convert service providers from IP-Prime when that company discontinued a similar offering. With ViP-TV gone, the only remaining IP/MPEG-4 video transport option is Avail-TVN. Comcast Media Center provides similar services with their HITS platform, but not with IP/MPEG-4 video.
ViP-TV secured a variety of customers and resellers of the service over the past few years, including Canby Telcom, Citizens Cablevision, BTC Broadband, MegaHertz, Transparent Technologies, Pace International and Fidelity Solutions, and Rural Cable.
Telecompetitor has not noted any new sign-ups for VIP-TV for over a year.