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Broadband Network Systems Podcast: IPTV Integrator Moving Into T-Commerce Apps

In the latest edition of our IPTV/OTT podcast series, we talk to Anke Gill, Vice President of Marketing with Broadband Network Systems (BNS).

Click here for the full podcast player or use the mini-player on the right sidebar of this page.

Founded in 2003, BNS is an Asia-based IPTV integrator with several leading telco customers including PCCW and Globe Telecom. Recently, the company has been moving more upstream with new revenue-generating applications as well as into tangential markets such as hospitality and multiple dwelling units (MDUs). While the company has its own Nautilus middleware system, its focus has always been on integration of all of the complex piece parts of large-scale IPTV systems. For that reason, over the years BNS has developed an extensive ecosystem of interoperable partner components from folks like Tandberg, Cisco, Entone, Envivio, Bitband, Espial/Kasenna, Verimatrix, NDS, and scores of other software and hardware vendors in the space. BNS leverages their expertise in all facets of design, implementation, management and service operations to reduce deployment complexity and ensure the future-proofness of their open platform. BNS’ services, targeted at IPTV service operators, hotels, and MDUs, include:

• Equipment selection
• Headend design
• Integration
• Systems engineering
• Installation and site testing
• Field trials

In the podcast, we talk about the current challenges and opportunities in the IPTV market, but we also cover how over the top video (OTT) will affect Pay TV business models, especially in regard to interactive applications. According to Anke, part of the challenges facing the industry are technology, such as limitations of set-top boxes and operator equipment, and part is also how operators think about their services.

“What is holding them back is a mind-set that still looks at IPTV as a traditional television service,” says Anke.

Anke feels it is high time for operators, as well as hotel and MDUs, to use the interactive nature of IP technologies to launch new revenue-generating services. This is why BNS has launched a new tCommerce (TV commerce) service called “BNS Touch.”

BNS Touch

BNS Touch is a multimedia ordering system that marries the interactivity of the Internet with the viewing convenience of printed materials. It uses a pen-like device called The Wiz, a new IPTV set top box (available from a variety of partners), and a catalog printed with a special kind of ink. When you scan The Whiz over a catalog, voila, the item shows up on the TV screen, complete with video demo, pricing, and detailed information. Of course, BNS backend systems hosted by the operator would manage the automatic order management and billing processes. The Wiz itself uses an infra-red camera sensor to scan dot code information in the printed catalog. Anke assures me the printing process for the catalog is a standard and inexpensive one for most printers.

Check out the BNS Touch demo here.

Anke sees these types of end-to-end integrated applications, hardware devices, and backend systems as the future of IPTV and OTT video. They take advantage of the bi-directional nature of IP technologies, and provide sticky apps subscribers (or hotel visitors) love and operators can monetize. Take a listen to our brief podcast to hear more about how Anke sees the industry evolving.

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