ISPreview - Evolving ISP Networks & Internet TV
Evolving ISP Networks & Internet TV
By: Vincent Morin - Jan 2nd, 2008 : Page 2 -of- 3
"early trials of IPTV services have shown churn rates of between two to three percent per month due to the underlying network’s failure"

In addition, adopting an Ethernet-based approach to the development of such networks enables cost-effective, on-demand bandwidth delivery to meet the precise and ever-increasing needs of the end customer while enhancing overall quality. High performance Ethernet allows ISPs to deliver a variety of new residential services such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), broadcast video, Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), and Video on Demand (VOD).

Quality or customer as king?

The advent of the IP-converged network necessitates the delivery of more demanding services over the same network infrastructure as traditional voice and data. New IP-based services are inherently hungry for bandwidth, difficult to scale and complex to deliver in practice. For example, one hour of premium video content can demand up to 250 times more bandwidth than an hour of web surfing. Ensuring end-to-end QoS is therefore increasingly important for operators and ISPs to succeed in new markets such as IPTV and capture customer loyalty.

  • Inherent service quality

In order to retain customer loyalty any new service delivered must be as good as, or better than traditional offerings. Customers will not tolerate anything less than parity with existing benchmarks and today’s savvy channel surfer will not accept long channel change times or issues with picture quality.

In fact, a recent Ciena survey conducted in France found that consumers’ have higher QoS expectations for IP-based television than traditional TV services, despite the former being a much newer technology. 43% of French IPTV viewers expect that a frozen screen should rectify after 5 seconds, compared to 38% for Web television viewers and just 6% for traditional television viewers who are prepared to wait longer.

Furthermore, early trials of IPTV services have shown churn rates of between two to three percent per month due to the underlying network’s failure to provide adequate service quality enforcement for video services.

ISPs must therefore build inherent service quality into their own networks during the transition from typical ‘best-effort’ Internet to multi-service models that include real-time applications. The network must be able to reserve the required end-to-end network resources necessary to deliver the requested service ‘on-demand’. This is a very different requirement to simply being able to prioritise traffic flows and is essential for interactive services where delay, jitter and packet loss may render a service inoperable.

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