| 03.19.14 | FiOS Quantum Gateway revealed; States review Comcast-TWC merger

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March 19, 2014
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Today’s Top Stories

  1. GreenWave Reality builds FiOS Quantum Gateway for Verizon
  2. Pay TV subscriber base shrank by 251,000 in 2013
  3. Comcast adds 18 live streaming networks to Xfinity TV Go
  4. aioTV develops 4K version of Passbox
  5. Florida, Indiana, Pennsylvania join DOJ in review of Comcast-TWC merger agreement

Also Noted: Clearleap, Comcast Wholesale & This Technology
Spotlight On… 3 reasons Netflix will likely raise its prices soon
Giuliani Rancic to host WICT luncheon; Sensio renews 3D licensing agreement with Disney and much more…


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Today’s Top News

1. GreenWave Reality builds FiOS Quantum Gateway for Verizon

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) may be preparing to deploy a FiOS Quantum Gateway and Zigbee home automation module supplied by Irvine, Calif.-based GreenWave Reality, FCC test documents obtained by FierceCable indicate.

Greenwave FiOS-G1100
Greenwave FiOS ZigBee HAN

Top: Label for Greenwave’s Quantum Gateway for FiOS; bottom: label for Greenwave Zigbee module. (Source: FCC)

The FiOS Quantum Gateway, model number FiOS-G1100, will support the new 802.11ac wireless networking standard, and can transfer data to devices connected to a home network at speeds of up to 1.3 gigabits per second, according to a report from the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology.

Greenwave VP of Hardware Engineering Freddie Fong asked the FCC in a letter to not release photos and the user manual for the FiOS Quantum Gateway until June 30, “in order to ensure sensitive business information remains confidential until the actual marketing of the device.”

The gateway can support both the Z-Wave and Zigbee wireless protocols that are used in home automation devices such as smart thermostats and light bulbs, according to the document. Greenwave filed a separate application for a Zigbee module that is designed for use with the FiOS Quantum Gateway. Quantum is the brand that Verizon uses to market FiOS Internet tiers that range in speeds from 75 Mbps to 500 Mbps.

In January, Verizon confirmed that it had stopped offering FiOS subscribers its Verizon Home Monitoring and Control service, which  was based on the Z-Wave protocol. “We are revisiting the service to more accurately reflect our vision for the connected home,” a Verizon spokesman said in January.

In January, GreenWave demonstrated its Home2Cloud platform, which can also help deliver IP video to connected TVs and mobile devices – at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Verizon executives have said that the company plans to deploy new services that take advantage of its FiOS network and mobile devices, and CEO Lowell McAdam told analysts recently that Verizon has also talked to major programmers about launching an over-the-top, or virtual cable subscription service. But it’s not clear what role GreenWave may play in Verizon’s rollout of new home automation and IP video products. Verizon spokesman Bill Kula declined to comment. Greenwave spokeswoman Christina Armstrong didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Verizon also plans to begin deploying a home video gateway from Arris (Nasdaq: ARRS) by the end of the first quarter.

Related articles:
Verizon drops Home Monitoring and Control service
AT&T, cable home automation supplier iControl join AllSeen Alliance
IMS: Home automation will drive demand for Zigbee-equipped set-tops
Arris sales boosted by Comcast, Time Warner Cable demand for gateways

Read more about: Verizon
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2. Pay TV subscriber base shrank by 251,000 in 2013

U.S. pay-TV distributors lost 251,000 video subscribers in 2013, marking the first time ever that the multichannel video sector has posted a full-year decline in subscriptions, according to an SNL Kagan report released Wednesday.

Telcos led the sector in video subscriber growth last year, with the combined 286,000 net video subscribers that AT&T (NYSE: T) U-verse TV and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) FiOS TV picked up in the fourth quarter–giving the two largest telcos 10.7 million subscribers combined. Also posting strong performances were CenturyLink’s (NYSE: CTL) PrismTV, which counted 175,000 customers at the end of 2013, and Consolidated Communications, which had 110,000 IPTV customers, SNL Kagan said.

While major cable MSOs continue to grow broadband subscribers, cable took the biggest hit in terms of video subscriber losses last year. Cable operators lost nearly 2 million video subscribers in 2013, and finished the year with a total of 54.4 million basic video subscribers, according to the report.

DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) and Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) gained 170,000 net video subscribers in 2013, but SNL Kagan said that satellite TV subscriber growth could continue to slow. “Despite the headwinds, Dish and DirecTV controlled churn and produced net subscriber gains for the year, forestalling an annual decline for perhaps another year,” SNL Kagan wrote in the report.

Leichtman Research Group released a report last week that detailed video subscriber metrics at the 13 largest pay TV providers. The top 13 multichannel providers lost 105,000 net video subscribers last year, with the top nine cable operators dropping about 1.735 million video subscribers combined, LRG said in its report. 

For more:
– see the Kagan release
– see the LRG release

Related articles:
SNL Kagan: Pay TV providers lost 366K video subscribers in Q2 2013
Comcast dominates 2013 broadband subscriber growth rankings
Kagan: Retrans fees to hit $7.6B by 2019

Read more about: Leichtman Research Group
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3. Comcast adds 18 live streaming networks to Xfinity TV Go

Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) said that it has surpassed the mark of 50 networks that Xfinity TV subscribers can watch through apps on mobile devices both inside and outside the home, following the addition of A&E, Starz, TNT and 15 other networks.

Comcast said Wednesday that its Xfinity TV Go app is also offering live streaming anywhere from Bravo, Cooking Channel, DIY Network, E!, Food Network, HGTV, History, mun2, Oxygen, Sprout, TBS, Travel Channel, truTV and USA Network. The expansion could help Comcast compete with DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV), Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and other pay-TV rivals who are also beginning to strike carriage deals with programmers that include rights to stream live video to subscribers inside and outside their homes.

“We will continue to aggressively expand both the live and On Demand offerings on the app and provide our customers with the ultimate selection of content across all devices,” Comcast SVP and GM of Video Services Matt Strauss said in a prepared statement.

For more:
– see the release

Related articles:
Verizon FiOS adds NFL RedZone, Starz, AXSTV to out-of-home streaming lineup
DirecTV to offer out-of-home live streaming from 30 networks
Comcast turns Olympics into X1 showcase for subscribers and fellow operators
Comcast signs electronic sell-through deal with Warner Bros.

Read more about: Comcast
back to top


4. aioTV develops 4K version of Passbox

IP video technology provider aioTV has developed a 4K version of its Passbox application platform that could be used to deliver Ultra HD programming to subscribers using both traditional pay TV and over-the-top video services.

The Denver, Colo.-based company said its Passbox 4K middleware platform allows subscribers to use a single interface to navigate over-the-top video and content supplied by pay-TV distributors. aioTV CEO Mike Earle has said previously that aioTV is talking to both cable operators and wireless carriers about using Passbox to launch over-the-top video services.

aioTV is backed by telecom infrastructure provider UTStarcom. On Wednesday, UTstarcom said that it signed a memorandum of understanding with DASAN Networks to collaborate on new products that they could market to cable TV, mobile and telecom carriers.

For more:
– see the aioTV release
– see the UTStarcom release

Related articles:
Three major MSOs testing aioTV IP video set-top
aioTV to use TMS metadata on over-the-top platform
Viacom, Turner, Discovery, Fox test live TV through LTE in the Netherlands

Read more about: OTT, Utstarcom
back to top


5. Florida, Indiana, Pennsylvania join DOJ in review of Comcast-TWC merger agreement

Multiple states are joining the U.S. Department of Justice in reviewing Comcast’s (Nasdaq: CMCSA) merger agreement with Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), Reuters reported Wednesday morning.

“We are part of a multistate group reviewing the proposed transaction along with the U.S. DOJ Antitrust Division,” an official at the Florida attorney general’s office wrote in an email to the wire service.

Indiana and Pennsylvania are also reviewing the proposed merger. The review by states where Comcast and TWC own cable systems is focused on how the deal could impact broadband competition, according to the report.

For more:
– Reuters has this story

Related articles:
DOJ taps Hesse to lead review of Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal
Consumer groups protest Comcast-TWC merger agreement?
Confirmed: Comcast agrees to acquire Time Warner Cable for $45.2B

Read more about: Antitrust Investigations, Comcast
back to top


Also Noted

This week’s sponsors are Clearleap, Comcast Wholesale & This Technology.

Less Than 3 Weeks Left to Register: Exclusive Breakfast Event at the NAB Show!

Executives from Fox Networks, Turner Broadcasting & more explore how programmers can profit from over-the-top video and new technology without cannibalizing existing subscription & ad-revenue streams. Seats are limited. Register Today!

SPOTLIGHT ON… 3 reasons Netflix will likely raise its prices soon

Amazon’s decision to raise the price of its Prime subscription to $99 annually caused some consternation among consumers, but many industry observers say it’s only a matter of time before all subscription video on demand (SVOD) services follow suit. In this commentary, FierceOnlineVideo‘s Sam Bookman breaks down the reasons she thinks Netflix and others will be forced to increase their subscription fees or risk being unprofitable. Commentary.   

Quick news from across the Web.

> Sensio Technologies renewed its 3D VOD licensing agreement with Walt Disney Studios. News release

> NetScout won a U.S. patent for its Adaptive Session Intelligence technology. News release

> SES now reaches 291 million homes worldwide, and says it has seen the most growth overseas. News release

And finally … Women in Cable Telecommunications said E! star Giuliani Rancic will host its 2014 Signature Luncheon during The Cable Show next month in Los Angeles. News release

News From the Fierce Network:
> All-IP T-Mobile MVNO UppWireless looks to expand to other carriers Post
> Tollgrade expands capabilities of in-home broadband testing tool Post


Webinars

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> Minimizing Wireless Network Security Threats – March 19th, 2pm ET / 11am PT

By deploying LTE, operators are moving to an IP architecture that makes it easier to hack because it’s a familiar territory for hackers. This webinar will delve into the reasons why LTE networks are vulnerable to security threats and also look at what can be done to minimize the threat. Register Today.

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> Less Than 3 Weeks Left to Register: Exclusive Breakfast Event at the NAB Show! – Tuesday, April 8, 2014 – Las Vegas, NV – Sponsored by Clearleap, Comcast Wholesale, & This Technology

Executives from Fox Networks, Turner Broadcasting & more explore how programmers can profit from over-the-top video and new technology without cannibalizing existing subscription & ad-revenue streams. Seats are limited. Register Today!



Marketplace

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> eBook: Managing Network Traffic

Wireless networks are becoming increasingly complex as operators must carefully manage many different aspects of the network in order to meet the growing demands for bandwidth. The good news is that there are a bevy of tools available that operators can deploy to help optimize the network. Download this eBook to explore the different tools and techniques to help operators maximize their next-gen networks.

> eBook: TV Everywhere 2014

Thanks to technologies like automatic in-home authentication and expanded carriage deals, multiplatform video has improved significantly since the first TV Everywhere apps made their debut in 2010. Download this FierceCable eBook today to learn different strategies for monetizing multiscreen content and looks at how different players – programmers, distributors, tech vendors and advertisers – are contributing to the success of TV Everywhere.

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