China Unicom, CNR, iQiyi and Huawei partner on IPTV (National Business Daily)

11 September 2012 16 h 59 min Comments Off

China Unicom (NYSE: CHU; 0762.HK; 600050.SH), China National Radio (CNR), Baidu’s (Nasdaq: BIDU) joint-venture online video site iQiyi, and telecom equipment and terminal manufacturer Huawei recently signed a letter of intent to jointly develop an dual-mode IPTV + OTT (Over The Top) service.

China Unicom’s OTT platform will be built by Huawei and utilize Huawei’s DN363 HD smart set-top boxes (STBs) which will support both China Unicom’s existing IPTV platform and newly-built OTT platform. The STBs are equipped with Wi-Fi, support HD programming, 3D TV content, Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) applications, and video calling. iQiyi will serve as content aggregator for China Unicom while CNR will serve as the project’s internet TV licenseholder.

China Unicom will simultaneous launch trials of its OTT services in Tianjin and Guangdong. Tianjin Unicom has already finished debugging its OTT platform and distributed STBs to trial users.

In addition to its IPTV business, China Telecom operates trial internet TV services in Shandong, Shanxi, Liaoning, and Guizhou, which it launched concurrently with recent IPTV procurement tenders. China Mobile (NYSE: CHL; 0941.HK) previously established an internet TV R&D working group, and is actively seeking to acquire a fixed-line license and planning new services.

Zhang Yanxiang, CEO of Chinese media news portal, said that currently the telecom operators’ OTT trials are essentially IPTV with additional internet TV content, innovations, and services. Zhang said that September and October this year will see the term “internet TV” increasingly used to refer to IPTV.

Editor’s Note: Chinese operators typically define OTT as a “service that transmits video content provided by licensed Internet TV broadcast and control platform operators to Internet TV sets through transmission channels provided by telecom operators,” which differs from the mainstream definition of OTT as the online provision of audiovisual content without ISP involvement in content distribution.

Source: National Business Daily (10/09/12)

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