Telcos that are investing heavily in IPTV infrastructure and services to drive new revenues also need to ensure that tools and technologies are in place to monitor their customers' quality of experience with their video services – but telcos aren't sure that today's IPTV QOE test and measurement tools provide the right level of service monitoring, according to a major new report from Heavy Reading
IPTV Phase II: QOE Is Mission Critical identifies and analyzes the core issues involved in determining QOE for IPTV services. The report explores the issues that affect how to objectively determine QOE in a way that it reflects the subscriber's subjective point of view. It identifies and evaluates key standards and sets out the most likely timetable for the emergence of standards that would give service providers greater confidence in choosing solutions for measuring the quality of their TV services.
The report analyzes IPTV QOE test solutions offered by 16 leading suppliers, focusing on the markets targeted by those vendors and the relative strength and weaknesses of their offerings.
IPTV QOE monitoring can be the most expensive test and measurement initiative for telcos, but it's essential to guarantee user satisfaction, Masud says. "With video services, telcos are entering a very competitive market sector in which baseline expectations have already been set by cable and satellite network operators," he explains. "Telcos at minimum have to match the perceived quality of existing services before they can expect to leverage some of IP's inherent advantages as a video delivery platform."
Key findings of IPTV Phase II: QOE Is Mission Critical include the following:
- QOE is highly subjective, so the accuracy of the measurement solutions that claim to approximate subscriber QOE is debatable. In light of the huge investment being made by service providers in IPTV, the relatively small size of the video quality measurement market suggests a level of skepticism, or perhaps confusion, regarding these solutions.
- A fragmented market for video quality measurement solutions makes it more difficult for service providers to sort through the marketing hype. It is likely that the marketing material of video quality measurement vendors promises more than they can really deliver for service providers to truly understand subscribers' QOE regarding IPTV services.
- The lack of standards is not giving IPTV service providers confidence when it comes to picking video quality measurement tools. J.144, one of the most cited ITU-T standards for video quality, does not apply to either MPEG-4 compression or to the transport of video over a packet network.
- IPTV is a game-changer when it comes to measurement solutions. Specialist suppliers that are emerging as potentially significant players in the IPTV QOE market include Bridge Technologies, Pixelmetrix, Shenick Network Systems, and Witbe.
IPTV Phase II: QOE Is Mission Critical is essential reading for a wide range of industry participants, including the following:
- IPTV test and measurement suppliers: How well do your products measure up to the competition when it comes to meeting telco needs to monitor and ensure QOE for IPTV services? What competitive advantages does your portfolio have? What are the potential areas of product weakness that must be addressed? How does your marketing message align with telco needs in this critical market sector?
- Other IPTV technology suppliers: How does the need to ensure QOE affect telco purchasing patterns for infrastructure and customer-premises technologies and equipment? How can your company position itself as a key enabler of high-quality IPTV services? What are the potential pitfalls in IPTV QOE that you need to address in your product line?
- IPTV network operators: How effective is your current testing environment to ensure acceptable QOE for your IPTV subscribers? Which products are available to improve your quality-assurance efforts? Who are the technology leaders in delivering IPTV QOE testing gear? Where does your supplier fit into the market?
- Investors: Which technologies are emerging as the winning solutions for IPTV QOE test and measurement, and which companies are the leading providers of those solutions?
- IPTV Phase II: QOE Is Mission Critical costs $3,995 and is published in PDF format. The price includes an enterprise license covering all of the employees at the purchaser's company.