Motorola predicting regional take up of convergent TV technologies

IPTV and mobile TV services expected soon in the Middle East

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By  Mark Sutton Published  November 5, 2007

Motorola spelled out its vision for converged television services today at the IP TV World Forum Middle East/Mobile TV Middle East in Dubai. The company, which is sponsoring the dual events, says that it expects to see strong regional growth for both IPTV and mobile TV, as operators put in place the technologies and as consumer demand for more advanced services begins to build.

“In the increasingly competitive markets of the Middle East, IPTV services will enable operators to benefit from new business opportunities to retain and grow their subscriber base. More and more consumers are demanding choice, convenience and control in their TV experience and IPTV gives operators the flexibility to offer these personalized services,” said Ian Wilkinson, IPTV solutions marketing manager, Middle East & Africa, Motorola Home & Networks Mobility.

Wilkinson said that the current potential for IPTV services was helped by a step change in set top box technology in 2006, which made more powerful set top boxes much cheaper than previously. According to figures from MRG, the set top box market went from under $500 million market in 2005 to $1.5 billion in 2007, and is predicted to reach $3 billion worldwide by 2009. For mobile TV, Bilal Saleh, director, mobile TV services, Europe Middle East and Africa, Motorola Home & Networks Mobility, said that all of the necessary elements are in place to deliver a great deal of choice in terms of how and where viewers access, and interact with content. “The building blocks for making this ultimate TV experience exist today, everything we need to bring the experience to end users is in existence. If you look at the Motorola portfolio across networks and the device side, we have the building blocks and the flexibility to bring this together,” Saleh said. Motorola reports that it is speaking to a number of television and telecoms operators in the region, who are growing very close to launching services, although it did not reveal details. Identifying content that will be relevant to local audiences, and also ensuring that it is packaged and delivered in the right manner, will be key to success for operators, Wilkinson noted. “It is the is the content that sells [IPTV], not the technology, and the people we talk to are actively looking at sourcing content – it has to be fresh and it has to be relevant to the region. How you organize and package and sell the content is the real key,” he said. The need for content management and positioning was a big factor in Motorola’s acquisition of Leapstone Systems, a software company that offers a unified platform for creating, managing and delivering converged service bundles across multiple networks and devices, in July this year, Wilkinson said.

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