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Global conditional access provider, Conax, is announcing its success with introducing increased levels of security to meet the new challenges that digital TV operators face. Chipset Pairing is an advanced technology that provides operators and content providers with an additional level of security for their premium content, ensuring that specified content is released only to the client devices supporting Conax Chipset Pairing.

Conax CAS7, together with Conax chipset pairing, provides operators with the highest level of security for content distribution. The combined solution offers operators the best insurance available against the illegal consumption of content.

Conax has successfully extended its open STB policy, creating a new environment where it is possible to embed an additional level of security into the STB.  Conax will continue to provide information and guidelines for STB vendors to support the Conax solution. For chipset pairing-enabled STBs and CAMs however, Conax requirements stipulate that the client devices undergo both a functionality test and a security evaluation to receive certification.

"Through this strategy, Conax has created an incentive for STB vendors to supply the most secure STBs to the market, so we feel that our strategy to introduce chipset pairing has been most successful.  Both quality and security levels of the STBs have improved significantly in the last years," says Berit Svendsen, CEO, Conax.

"Conax is paving the road for operators to enjoy both the highest level of security for their digital assets and freedom of choice for integration with 3rd party hardware and technology. Today, over 40 vendors are marketing a variety of consumer devices supporting Conax Chipset Pairing. All leading chipset vendors support Conax Chipset Pairing and client devices with Conax Chipset Pairing are already being employed at numerous Conax customer operations. Conax Chipset Pairing technology is a key element of our strategy and the foundation for future clients needs such as watermarking and CI+", says Berit Svendsen.

At the IBC 2008 exhibition in Amsterdam, wireless technology group, Radio Frequency Systems (RFS), has showcased three new mobile TV-ready RF filter solutions alongside its already-comprehensive selection of broadcast RF filters. Specially designed for co-located broadcast/mobile base stations, the new filters--a 2kW and a 5kW low-pass filter, plus a 0.6kW UHF band-pass filter with integrated low-pass filter--deliver premium RF performance across the 470 to 862MHz band. Such sophisticated filtering solutions are crucial for preventing interference between co-located mobile TV and phone services.

According to RFS senior engineer, Dieter Pelz, a two-stage RF filtering process is required for co-locating broadcast transmission sites with mobile base stations. "Mobile TV transmissions can produce natural harmonic signals that have the potential to interfere and degrade existing wireless communications networks, causing call drop-outs," he said. "Both DTV transmission mask filtering, and low-pass filtering to prevent the mobile TV signal harmonics and transmitter spurious signals from blocking cellular receivers, are a necessity, making advanced RF filtering technologies vital."

To meet this dual filtering challenge, RFS's new 6PX80E band-pass filter with integrated low-pass filter provides mobile TV network operators with a unique two-in-one mobile TV filtering solution that has never-before-seen levels of flexibility. "The one unit provides both transmission mask and low-pass filtering," said Pelz.  "Premium transmission mask filtering is provided by a sophisticated six-pole cross-coupled band-pass filter." Further flexibility is provided via the unit's rack-mount capability, which allows it to be easily installed and retrofitted.

RFS's new 2kW LPF8E4 and 5kW LPFS16E4 low-pass filters are highly selective and boast unequalled stop-band rejection performance. "Advanced low-pass RF filters that attenuate all frequencies, including harmonics, above the UHF TV broadcast band are crucial for avoiding interference between services," said Pelz. "Unlike competing filters that extend only to 2.5GHz, RFS's new low-pass filters reject unwanted frequencies up to 4.5GHz."

The new low-pass and band-pass filters feature impressive insertion loss performance--typically 0.06dB for the two low-pass filters and 0.6dB for the band-pass filter. All filters are extremely compact and easy to install, and complement RFS's full range of broadcast RF filters and combiners for DTV and mobile TV.

To learn more of RFS's digital and mobile broadcast solutions, visit the RFS IBC2008 stand at Hall 8 Stand D29, RAI Convention Centre, Amsterdam, 12-16 September, 2008.

MobiTV, a provider of mobile and broadband IP Video distribution technology, and Media Excel, a specialist in real-time video encoding and transcoding solutions, have today announced a strategic partnership agreement to jointly offer advanced video delivery capabilities to service providers.

MobiTV's Optimized Delivery Server (ODS) for scalable high capacity video delivery, combined with Media Excel's video encoding and transcoding appliances will enable service providers to offer premium video services to their subscribers over 3G, 4G, and broadband networks.

MobiTV recently announced that the number of mobile subscribers' worldwide that access television using its MobiTV service has surpassed the four million mark. The service is currently deployed over more than fifteen carrier networks, including Sprint, AT&T Wireless, Alltel, Telus, Rogers and Bell Mobility.

"Many of our customers are looking to us to provide broadcast quality, high availability IP video systems for new mobile and broadband video networks and we want to shorten the time to market for these services by integrating industry leading transcoding technologies, that will enable the rapid delivery of a complete IP Video solution," said Bruce Gilpin, COO, MobiTV. "Our work with Media Excel enables us to offer a turn-key system for world-class video delivery over IP networks."

Media Excel provides next-generation hardware transcoding appliances that are used by large-scale video service providers such as MobiTV, as well as broadcasters and service operators.

"The explosion of mobile video over cellular and broadband networks is a tremendous opportunity for operators. Through our integrated platform with MobiTV's ODS we can provide a highly scalable and tested solution for operators that can significantly reduce time to market and integration costs," said Thanasis Iatrou, CEO of Media Excel.

According to Strategy Analytics, the global mobile media market will double between 2008 and 2011, from $32 billion to more than $64 billion, largely due to the increase in global service provider video offerings.

"We are seeing consumer spending on mobile data services ramping to more than $200 billion by 2011, and video is a major part of this growth," said David Kerr, vice president, global wireless practice, Strategy Analytics. "The growing functionality and usability of handsets and networks is also feeding into major growth in the use of Web browsing from mobile phones, and the outlook for Web 2.0 services is positive."

LHS, the leading providers of telecom billing and customer care systems across the wireless, wireline, and IP telecom markets worldwide today announced that Thuraya has migrated its billing and customer care services to BSCS iX Release 2, the latest version of its leading product.

The mobile satellite service provider, which operates in more than 170 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, has been a BSCS customer since 1999. The company opted for the LHS billing customer care solution because it offers multiple-country handling, increased flexibility in introducing new rates and pre-postpaid functionality. LHS also acted as the prime system integrator for the upgrade project, continuing the successful cooperation of the two companies.

"Billing in the Mobile Satellite Services is a complex world involving hundreds of markets and SPs, and hundreds of thousands subscribers with different rates, schemes and discounts, therefore it is imperative that you have a highquality, highly flexible and advanced billing system that integrates so many inputs. That is why the launch of a new billing system ensures that we have a highly efficient system that supports our business and marketing plans," said Thuraya's CEO Mr. Yousuf Al Sayed.

"Thuraya has been a LHS customer since its launch. Today we are serving them from our local office in Dubai and we are delighted to support and grow with them in the years to come," said Parvaiz Ahsan, Managing Director MEA-APAC at LHS. "In upgrading to BSCS iX Release 2, we were able to significantly reduce the number of billing instances from the previous 64. Now Thuraya can handle more than 120 service providers in a single database," he concluded, highlighting the gain in efficiency and functionality.

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Ericsson has announced that it has signed an agreement with Portuguese triple play operator Sonaecom to provide and integrate its open, standards-based, end-to-end IPTV solution. It includes Ericsson's new IMS-based IPTV middleware and enables the operator to deliver personalized and interactive TV experiences to its subscribers.

Under the Prime Integrator agreement, Ericsson will upgrade Sonaecom's IPTV system by delivering and integrating a next-generation, end-to-end IPTV solution. This will bring together Ericsson solutions including its new IMS-based IPTV middleware and network infrastructure, as well as Tandberg Television's high-definition and standard-definition video processing platform. Deployment and trial has started.

Ericsson's IPTV Middleware is the world's first solution to be pre-integrated with IMS. Its flexibility and scalability will enable Sonaecom to quickly create, test and deploy differentiated TV services in order to provide an individual entertainment and communication package for consumers that includes interactive and mobile functionality. The Ericsson IPTV ecosystem is based on open standards, designed to comply with the Open IPTV Forum specifications.

José Pinto Correia, CTO, at Sonaecom, says: "Ericsson's complete solution will help us achieve our IPTV vision of bringing our customers personalized and interactive multimedia services, and provides us with the integration skills we need to deliver to consumers an individualized TV experience across multiple networks."

Jan Wäreby, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Unit Multimedia, Ericsson, says: "Creating the individual TV experience requires a combination of skills taken from the world of telecoms and television. This experience must reach wider than just television, further than just mobile, and beyond the limits of fixed-line networks. Helping operators to address this is central to Ericsson's TV solutions offering. This new IPTV ecosystem is transforming the worlds of communications and entertainment to deliver an open, carrier-class TV solution that drives the future of truly converged and blended services."

Hans-Erhard Reiter, President of Ericsson Portugal, says: "The strong combination of Ericsson's IPTV offering, systems integration capabilities and local personnel will provide Sonaecom with a scalable, robust, end-to-end IMS-based solution to build its television business and offer advanced, revenue-generating services to its customers."

Discretix, a provider of embedded security and DRM (Digital Rights Management) solutions, and castLabs, a mobile broadcasting technologies and services company, have announced a technology partnership with mobile broadcasting technologies. The partnership brings together two prominent technologies of the fast-growing mobile TV segment-Discretix' Multi-Scheme MobileTV Security Client and castLabs' OMA BCAST Service Delivery Platform-creating a robust, quickly-implemented client/server mobile TV solution built upon OMA BCAST standards.

castLabs' carrier-grade OMA BCAST Service Delivery Platform is a comprehensive head-end product for use by mobile TV operators.  The server-side platform includes key features such as Electronic Service Guide (ESG) management, offer management and Conditional Access (CA); it also supports convergent TV services using Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service (MBMS), 3G streaming and IPTV.

Like castLabs' platform, Discretix' Multi-Scheme MobileTV Security Client supports OMA BCAST DRM Profile, Smart Card Profile and DVB-H IPDC 18Crypt.  The Discretix client secures the distribution and consumption of mobile TV broadcasts over a wide range of mobile devices, all with complete user transparency and no degradation in broadcast performance or playback time.

"The combination of castLabs' and Discretix' products removes implementation risk and reduces time-to-market for handset OEMs and service providers," said Edo Ganot, Executive Vice President of Sales and Business Development for Discretix. 

"This strategic partnership enables mobile network operators to deploy a ready-made solution with broadest possible device support, highest levels of flexibility and assured performance", said Michael Stattmann, Managing Director of castLabs. "Discretix´ Multi-scheme clients and castLabs´ Service Delivery Platforms are setting the standard for Mobile TV security and DRM in the international market of today."

On2 Technologies, a specialist in video compression solutions, has announced the launch of its latest video compression format, On2 VP8. This eighth generation of On2 video is claimed to be the perfect solution for web TV, IPTV and video conferencing companies looking to differentiate their product and service offerings by delivering higher quality video using less data and requiring less system resource for playback.

Downloading and streaming HD movies and TV shows has become commonplace, and with affordable HD web cams, we will see rapid growth in high-resolution user-generated content as well as the wide-scale adoption of high quality video communication solutions .

Even with faster transport technologies on the way, the cost and availability of bandwidth will remain a stubborn obstacle to containing costs as video services use more bandwidth than any other IP application. According to a recent white paper published by Cisco, annual IP traffic will exceed half a zettabyte by 2012, with video accounting for close to 90% of all consumer traffic. Internet video alone is expected to generate 10 exabytes of data per month in 2012.

"Next generation video must transcend platforms while remaining fast and affordable," said Eero Kaikkonen, Chief Marketing Officer at On2. "We design On2 video formats to achieve those goals. On2 VP8 achieves significant improvements over leading standards-based implementations and is less compute-intensive to encode and play back. Furthermore, we have used our years of experience developing embedded video IP to ensure the design is entirely suited for optimization to current and future desktop and mobile processor cores."

On2 VP8 is claimed to surpass the compression efficiency and performance of every other video format on the market by employing over 40 technical innovations, among them:

  • Advanced prediction through constructed reference frames
    Macroblock row level threading
    Improved small area referential encoding
    Advanced contextual entropy coding without the added complexity of
    bit level adaptability
    Sparse targeted adaptive loop filtering

"With On2 VP8, we set out to increase compression performance over On2 VP7 and leading H.264 implementations by 20% while reducing playback complexity by 40%," said Paul Wilkins, Chief Technology Officer at On2. "In the end we exceeded these goals and even back-ported some of what we learned to our On2 VP6 for Adobe Flash encoders."

On2 VP8 bitstream requires fewer processing cycles to decode, so users do not need to have the latest and greatest PC or mobile device to enjoy On2 VP8 video quality.

"Through our relationship with On2 over the years, Move Networks has enabled viewers to realize the highest quality Internet television experience possible.  We look forward to On2's continued innovations," said John Edwards, CEO of Move Networks.

Multicore processing is one of the most significant developments in computer technology. On2 VP8 is designed to take full advantage of multi-core systems and can efficiently use up to 64 processor cores simultaneously.

"As new multi core processors come to market, On2 Video will be able to make maximum use of the additional computing power available, " said Wilkins "Our innovative encoder can seamlessly use additional cores to either increase compression speed or to improve compression quality in real-time applications."

On2 has worked closely with ARM to ensure suitability for porting to current and future ARM single and multi-core processors in mobile devices.

"We have been working with On2 to ensure that their compression schemes work as optimally as possible with our NEON 64/128-bit SIMD technology which enables high definition video in software. NEON technology is a key feature in our current Cortex-A8 and Cortex-A9 MPCore processors and will be included in all future ARM application processors," said Laurence Bryant Mobile Segment Marketing Manager, ARM "The high compression performance of this latest generation of On2 Video suggests that it will be ideal for wireless internet applications where available data bandwidth is a premium, and complements our recent work with Adobe on the Open Screen Project to drive consistent internet experiences across multiple screens, including TVs, PCs, mobile devices and consumer electronics."

"JavaFX enables content authors and developers to quickly and easily deliver high-impact, rich internet applications across mobile phones, desktops, TVs and other consumer devices," said Param Singh, senior director of JavaFX marketing at Sun Microsystems."JavaFX leverages the best capabilities of the existing Java platform along with new immersive media capabilities and we are pleased to be working with On2, a world leader in video compression technology. The combination of On2 video and JavaFX will provide the high-fidelity video capabilities to supercharge the consumer experience across the billions of devices around the world that are powered by Java technology."

Company Remains Committed to Existing Formats

On2's VP6 format became the de facto standard for web video following its integration in Adobe Flash Player in 2005. On2 expects VP8 to complement its existing formats and, in particular, is fully committed to continuing the development of VP6 to further improve encoding and playback performance.

"We are serving different needs with On2 VP6 and VP8," said Kaikkonen. "On2 VP6 offers distinct advantages for web video as the Adobe Flash Player is installed on nearly every desktop in the world. It offers comparable quality to H.264 with the added value of supporting cue points and alpha channel masking, allowing developers to quickly and easily create more interactive and complete web video experiences with minimal investment.  On2 VP8 will be our flagship format and enable companies developing client-side playback capability to deliver a supreme video-over-IP solution."

On2 video is proprietary to On2 Technologies and is available with patent-pool free licensing.

castLabs, a mobile broadcasting technologies and services company, today announced that it is the first ever provider of an OMA BCAST platform which supports all currently available DVB-H enabled mobile phones. It is the first platform which has been successfully tested with all marketed DVB-H handsets. The platform is based on the open OMA BCAST (Open Mobile Alliance Mobile Broadcast Services Enabler Suite) standard, but is also compatible with IP Datacasting (IPDC) and all other proprietary standards used by current mobile phones.

castLabs´ mobile TV service delivery platform enables network operators to provide customers with a broad range of interactive mobile TV and IPTV services with multivendor capabilities.

The platform has already been deployed as a central headend component of the nationwide DVB-H broadcasting network in Austria for MEDIA BROADCAST, which has supplied all EURO 2008 venues and enabled the majority of the Austrian population to receive fifteen domestic and international TV programs and five Austrian radio programs in digital quality on mobile devices.

Mobile TV applications hold great promise as the next blockbuster application for the wireless industry; however with different broadcasting standards used around the world, a technology able to support all available devices is a major cornerstone towards commercial success in mobile TV. According to industry forecasts, approximately 462 million people will view mobile TV by 2012 worldwide.

 "We are proud to be the world's first provider of an OMA BCAST solution which supports all available DVB-H handsets regardless of vendor-specific properties," commented Michael Stattmann, Managing Director of castLabs.

Ericsson and Dutch mobile network operator KPN have signed a contract for hosted mobile advertising, marking Ericsson's first contract for hosted mobile advertising.  

Under the agreement, Ericsson will provide KPN with an innovative and flexible end-to-end business solution for managing and delivering targeted advertisements to be displayed on mobile phones and other devices.   The hosted service enables KPN to deliver targeted advertisements based on consumer preferences to individual network users via mobile internet pages and various messaging services. The advertisements can be targeted based on each user's personal preferences. Advertising agencies can create and maintain advertisement campaigns through reporting tools.  

KPN has piloted mobile advertising services with major advertisers and is currently testing them further. The company is committed to working out opt-in programs for customers in accordance with legal requirements, and is researching appropriate incentive programs. In May 2008 KPN commercially launched the first mobile advertising services.  

Patrick Kuijsters, marketing director KPN Mobile, says: "KPN is proud to announce a strategic partnership with Ericsson. Ericsson' platform suits KPN's need to add relevant advertisements to operator services to end users, in which opt-in plays a crucial role. KPN's vision is to reduce waste of advertisers' media spending and to deliver relevant offers to its consumers based on their desires. Ericsson is a crucial partner in realising this vision, and is willing to help KPN shape this developing market."  

Mobile advertising is a developing medium that supports new business models with promising forecasts. Mobile devices, as the most personal medium, provide opportunities for these new business models.  

Nils de Baar, President, Ericsson in the Netherlands, says: "Hosting is a growing segment within Ericsson and we are pleased to collaborate in exploring new possibilities in the multimedia environment. This underlines both our strengths as the leader in telecom services and our commitment to become a leader in multimedia."

Global provider of security solutions for digital TV operations, Conax, has announced support for Common Interface+ (CI+) on Conditional Access Modules (CAMs). The founders of the CI+ forum and CAM manufacturers are driving market development of the new CI+ standard that implements protection between the CAM and the digital television receiver. Conax will be ready to support the upcoming market of advanced HD flat screens with a built in slot for CI+ modules, without needing the extra set top box.

"Digital TV operators experience that today's DVB Common Interface (CI) standard, where content is transmitted in clear between the CI module and the STB, does not provide the necessary level of security for HD content. Consequently content providers and digital TV operators are avoiding these modules," says Geir Bjørndal, COO/Sales & Marketing Director, Conax. The new CI+ standard supports the authentication and encryption mechanisms that provide a secure channel between the CAM and the integrated digital TV (IDTV).

For the increased security required for HD content, Conax provides the advanced solution Conax Chipset Pairing with CI+ support. The leading CAM vendors are already integrating support for this solution and many major DVB broadcasters have announced their intention to deploy CI+ when it becomes available.

"The market demand for an alternative to content descrambling using a Common Interface module is growing rapidly. CI+ will secure the connection between the CA module and the IDTV. Conax is already there providing IDTV and CAM manufacturers with the insurance of a total CI+, including optimal smart card security for HD products and the ultimate home cinema experience.,".

Meet Conax at IBC, September 12th - 16th: Stand 1.B39

MobiTV, a leading provider of managed TV and video content over mobile and broadband networks, today announced the immediate availability of its standards-based Optimized Delivery Server (ODS) in Europe. MobiTV's ODS system provides a scalable, secure and optimised method for the distribution of enhanced live, clip-linear, VOD and downloadable media over broadband and wireless networks. ODS is available for licensing to partners and customers across Europe looking for systems that will deliver high-quality video and rich media over existing wireless and broadband network ecosystems.

Currently over four million mobile subscribers worldwide access programmes via MobiTV's managed network platform that delivers live television, video on demand and digital music services. The availability of ODS comes at a time when consumer demand for access to wireless video and TV services is growing substantially. The analyst house Strategy Analytics, has reported that the global media market will double between 2008 and 2011 from $32 billion to more than $64 billion. This growth has been attributed to the increase in global service provider video offerings.

"Our Optimized Delivery Server technology represents decades of best practices coming into focus around issues including bandwidth adaptability, full redundancy and carrier-grade reliability," said Anders Norström, European Managing Director, MobiTV. "A primary component of the end-to-end managed hosted solution offered to MobiTV customers in North America, ODS technology can now be licensed by third parties in Europe, delivering the advantages of high quality video and user experience across varying network conditions through advanced network optimisation, and efficient, effective service creation."

MobiTV's standards-based Optimized Delivery Server is RTP/RTSP and 3GPP standard compliant, and combines unicast and multicast distribution methods, creating a single delivery platform that improves video quality and decreases backhaul demands. The technology optimizes network resources by creating a distributed network, and includes comprehensive usage reporting, fully redundant architecture and support for all types of devices.

By utilising bandwidth smoothing, seamless network handover and bandwidth adaptation that includes stream switching, stream thinning and rate shaping, MobiTV's Optimized Delivery Server also enables significant improvements channel change and session start-up capabilities.

For licensees based in Europe, the Optimized Delivery Server system can grow with the needs of customers' businesses. Partners and customers can start with a single cluster in a data centre and then deploy additional clusters at the network edges as their business needs demand. Providing low latency and secure media distribution through a scalable architecture, ODS also enables an interactivity layer that includes compelling, targeted advertising insertions and personalisation options.

SafeNet, a global specialist in information security, has announced the addition of SafeBSF, a carrier-grade Generic Bootstraping Architecture (GBA) solution for mobile user authentication to its industry-leading portfolio of Mobile TV Protection and DRM solutions. SafeBSF provides mobile operators and service providers with a general-purpose authentication infrastructure, which can be used for multiple services such as mobile TV and mobile payments.
SafeBSF performs mutual authentication of the operator network and consumers-via their SIM card-who may be accessing a multimedia application, including mobile TV, during service access initiation using the GBA standard from the 3GPP. The SafeBSF solution is a complete bundle of GBA components, including a BSF, HSS/HLR Proxy, and a Zn proxy. By using SafeBSF, mobile operators and service providers can be confident that only authenticated users with access rights to their mobile services are able to access the content.
"When securely deployed and managed, services such as Mobile TV and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) present mobile operators and service providers with a tremendous opportunity to grow revenue by significantly increasing average spend per subscriber," said Vikrant Gandhi of Frost & Sullivan. "SafeNet has long been a strong provider in the DRM space and with the addition of SafeBSF to their Mobile TV Protection portfolio they have once again demonstrated their ability to address important market trends and deliver complete security solutions for the protection, management, and monetisation of next-generation digital content, features, and services."

SafeBSF can plug directly into an existing HLR (or provide a stand-alone HSS), thereby allowing mobile network operators to enhance their existing authentication infrastructure. This significantly reduces development cost and time to market.
"Increased demand for next-generation features and services such as mobile TV and mobile payments has forced mobile operators and service providers to prioritise user and device authentication to ensure the privacy, integrity, and confidentiality of sensitive data and valuable content," said Dr. Simon Blake-Wilson, managing director, embedded security solutions, SafeNet. "With the addition of SafeBSF, SafeNet offers customers the industry's only complete, end-to-end Mobile TV Protection Solution which address rights management and authentication challenges while reducing development costs and shortening time to market."


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