HickoryTech, the Mankato, Minn based independent telco, has decided to upgrade their IPTV middleware, choosing to stay with Nokia Siemens Network (NSN) for their Home Entertainment 3.0 IPTV platform. Home Entertainment 3.0 evolved from the earlier Myrio middleware platform.
“There is a growing demand for a superior TV experience that allows a high degree of interactivity and personalization,” says Damon Dutz, president of HickoryTech’s Consumer and Network Solutions Division. “In addition to enabling a new and intuitive PVR service, the open environment of Nokia Siemens Networks’ multi-screen IPTV platform allows us to work with independent developers to offer new applications that satisfy the changing needs of our customers.”
HickoryTech has offered IPTV for four years now, but like many early telcoTV providers, started before that with video over DSL on the Next Level Communications (NLC) platform. The NLC platform was a pioneering platform in telcoTV, but wasn’t technically IPTV since it used ATM. The NLC platform, which was bought by Motorola years ago, is no longer sold. But there’s still a lot of NLC equipment in service today, used by numerous telcos including HickoryTech, who still has close to 5,000 customers on the platform.
HickoryTech is in the process of overlaying its NLC markets with IPTV, but not doing flash cuts. “As customers request new services like DVR and HD, we migrate them over from NLC to the IPTV service powered by NSN,” Paul Bertino, HickoryTech’s Director of Product Management and Marketing tells me. They’ve completed an overlay in one NLC market and are in the process of doing two more. All told, HickoryTech serves 14 markets with telcoTV, eight of which are served by NLC equipment.
HickoryTech counts close to 5,000 pure IPTV subscribers, so combined with their NLC served subscribers, they have close to 10,000 telcoTV subscribers.
NSN’s new middleware platform was introduced in 2009 and uses an interactive applications toolkit based on Interactive Markup Language (IML). We haven’t heard much about NSN middleware in the past couple years, leading some to believe NSN was going to close down the former Myrio unit. But announcements like this (and others) refute that idea and tell us there’s still a light on in the NSN IPTV middleware house.