Providing IPTV service since: September 2006
Service Details: Launched its Freewire IPTV service in September 2006 to UK University students living in on-campus accommodation - university halls of residence connected to JANET, the UK universitiesâ€™ high speed broadband network -- and the initial launch was all free-to-air content. A pay service was launched in September 2007, the start of the new academic year, again to students in halls of residence. The next phase of development will see the Freewire being rolled out as an off-campus residential proposition using DSL in March 2008. Freewire also plans a white label IPTV solution.
Challenges: Content rights issues and regulatory environment as the service expands internationally. These aspects are often very different and provide a new set of challenges in each region that have a bearing on time to market. Currently Inuk Networks is launching Freewire in the Republic of Ireland and Canada.
Number of IPTV subscribers: Freewire is currently available in over 100,000 student bedrooms in halls of residence across the UK.
IPTV equipment vendors:
Set-top box: Telsey, plus Inuk Networks own developed Virtual Set Top Box application for PCs & Macs
VOD Server: Edgeware
Test and Monitoring: Various
Advertising Server: PacketVision
Advice for the upcoming IPTV service providers: Content is king!
Growth expected over the next 12 months: Double the rooms offering Freewire on campus. Growth through new private rented accommodation offering over DSL, international expansion, and white label IPTV.
Areas of innovation: Inuk Networks Virtual Set Top Box which extends the IPTV services over to PC or Mac. The product delivers features and functions of an IPTV STB, independent of browser, codec or conditional access (CA) system. Other area of innovation includes enhancing Freewire platform through integrating interactivity and social networking into the viewing paradigm â€œso moving the TV viewing experience from a largely â€œpushâ€ medium to the more Internet-centric, on-demand world where audiences increasingly use â€œpullâ€ techniques and peer recommendations to consume media.â€ Inuk is developing â€œFuture TVâ€ applications in three key areas:
1. Convergence between TV and telephone with VoIP integrated into the Freewire TV interface
2. The integration of PC style interactivity into the television viewing paradigm â€“ so access to Instant Messaging, Presence and Online Chat Rooms through the TV.
3. Inbound and outbound integration with social networking sites and applications e.g.
âˆ’ Outbound widgets enable Freewire TV data to be presented on third party websites (e.g. Freewire viewers can see what their friends are watching on their Facebook profile)
âˆ’ Inbound widget enable third party websites to display information and interact within the Freewire environment (e.g. Facebook pokes)
Company URL: www.inuknetworks.com
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