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Yankee: Wireless not IPTV-ready yet

By Carol Wilson
SOURCE: Telelphony
Aug 11, 2006 9:49 AM

Despite the high-cost of installing in-home wiring to support IPTV, service providers aren’t yet ready to trust wireless solutions, according to Yankee Group research.

The two existing wireless options – 802.11n and Ultra Wide Band (UWB) don’t yet provide sufficient quality and reliability, said Nicole Klein broadband access technologies analyst.

“Provisioning in-home wiring for IPTV is an extremely expensive process and while wireless would make that much easier, I don’t think any service providers are ready to trust that technology just yet,” Klein said. “They can’t risk the expense of installing an expensive network and providing short-term customer support, if the customer is going to churn right away because the quality of service is bad.”

In researching IPTV operational costs, she found that the in-home service installation costs at least $350 per subscriber, not including CPE, because it requires multiple technicians to spend up to half-a-day at each customer home. For that reason, service providers are still constantly testing alternatives to find a way to make the process easier and less costly. Those alternatives include using Home Phoneline Networking Alliance (HPNA) over existing phone or coaxial cable, using Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) over existing coax, or using HomePlug technology over existing power lines. In addition, there are proprietary solutions as well.

“In-home wiring is a big issue,” Klein said. “They have to snake it through the walls and it takes a lot of time. Verizon is going with MoCA. AT&T has announced they are going with HPNA – I don’t know if they are going to change that. But all these service providers are really testing everything—MoCA, powerline, HPNA, and wireless to a degree.”

Internationally, powerline technology has a bigger footprint, according to her research. PCCW, the Asian provider with the largest IPTV deployment to date, is using powerline technology but also recently announced plans to use Ruckus’ wireless system to support IPTV, Klein reported.