Category Archives: Internet


Are You Next Gen NBN Ready?

What the heck is NBN? In Singapore, it stands for Nationwide Broadband Network. It is essentially, Singapore’s all fibre optic, ultra highspeed broadband network, which is capable of delivering data at speeds of 1Gbps or more to all residential and commercial buildings in Singapore.opennet-ngn
What is the purpose? According to the MDA:

You may have encountered long waiting times when downloading files, or jerky videos when watching movies online or even poor responsiveness when playing online games. Files are also getting larger as the need for more information or higher video resolutions increases rapidly over time. Low speed internet gives you a poor online experience and limits what you can do. In Singapore today, our home broadband network supports connection speeds up to 100Mbps. Although it is sufficient for some, it may not be adequate for many in the future as our need for speed grows.

So who do you contact to get FibreOptic Internet? You need to contact an RSP, Retail Service Provider; they are: M1, MyRepublic, SingTel, StarHub, SuperInternet, and ViewQwest.

How do you know if your residence or commercial office building is equipped with Next Gen NBN? Simply visit the OpenNet website, and enter your address.

M1 MiBox Displaces 1Box

M1, the third largest Telco in Singapore after SingTel and StarHub has announced its successor to  the softly received television platform 1Box. The new TV device is called MiBox, and it doubles the amount of paid online content previously offered.

The MiBox Set-Top box TV device allows customers to stream online content to their TV. MiBox will replace the telco’s current service 1box, which was released back in 2010.

MiBox offers 18,000 videos-on-demand, 116 TV channels, 1,200 e-books and 370 apps, some of which are free. The service is priced at S$8 (US$6.33) a month with a two-year contract for M1 fiber customers, bundled with an Android set-top box, a selection of free shows and other content. For non-fiber customers, the service is priced at S$12 (US$9.50) per month.

“Media consumption habits are shifting towards an on-demand, a-la-carte model. M1′s MiBox aims to enhance this experience by delivering convenient and affordable access to an exciting library of entertainment, e-learning, and gaming content optimised for the TV screen,” P. Subramaniam, M1′s chief marketing officer, said in the release.

Full story at ZDnet.

Netflix Threatened if Net Neutrality Dismantled

Can fixed broadband providers control what services flow through their networks? Verizon, One of the largest US internet providers is challenging the Open Internet rule adopted in 2010 by the Federal Communications Commission called “Net Neutrality”, which forbids Internet broadband providers from blocking or discriminating against services or content.


Here is some of the dialogue taking place about his debate:

Sohn said that if Verizon has its way, it and other providers like Comcast or AT&T could “play favorites,” by blocking or degrading services such as YouTube or Netflix to promote their own offerings or that of their partners.

“Every user every day benefits from this rule (Net Neutrality) for the services they use, whether it’s YouTube or Twitter or something else,” Sohn told AFP.

But Verizon and its allies argue the FCC lacks authority to interfere with their business, and that Congress never decided these companies were regulated utilities or “common carriers.”

“It is not up to the FCC to decide these issues on its own,” said Verizon lawyer Helgi Walker, arguing the case before the US Court of Appeals in Washington earlier this month.

“It has no implied authority, no express authority…and it’s highly unlikely that Congress would have delegated authority in such a convoluted way.”.

The 2010 Net Neutrality decision only won by a 3-2 vote. It is therefore conceivable that as this new debate heats up, it could possibly be overturned. The ramifications could have a ripple effect throughout the rest of the world.

The European union is already also having it’s own debate. According to the New York Times:

European countries are similarly struggling with whether and how to regulate Internet service. The Netherlands has some wireless regulations in place, and France this year introduced strict anti-discrimination measures. But while European Union officials have voiced support for what is known as net neutrality, a recent proposal gives Internet providers great leeway.

Here is Wired Magazine’s article about the original suit filed by Verizon, and here is a recent article by Raw Story concerning where the issue resides.

Singapore IPTV Provider Centrecom

comtrendWhen contemplating IPTV providers in Singapore, one immediately thinks of SingTel’s Mio TV, by far the leading IPTV provider with just over 400,000 subscribers. However, there is another lesser known player in town, Centrecom.

Centrecom is a subsidiary partner of MVI Systems Ltd for the IPTV business in Singapore and has implemented IPTV systems in over 6 Singapore hotels since 2008, managing and supporting a combined total of 2,551 rooms.

But Centrecom doesn’t manufacture the TV set top box, they license it from a Taiwan firm called Comtrend. Before you hook up with Centrecom and try to order IPTV in Singapore, you should note the following:

  • Minimum order from Comtrend is 1000 STB’s.
  • Each STB is approx $80.
  • Centrecom is responsible or doing deals with channel content providers in Singapore, Comtrend only provides the STB’s.
  • Centrecom is responsible for the homepage and UI navigation of the TV experience, it is usually done in a Linux/HTML5 environment.
  • Comtrend predominately sells their STB’s into hotels and schools.
  • Centrecom’s implementation of the Comtrend IPTV set top box in Singapore offers the following channels: a.) ALL 7 Mediacorp FTA channels. b.) CNBC Singapore c.) BBC World d.) CNN e.) NHK f.) Discovery Channel g.) HBO h.) Zee TV I) MTV Asia j.) E! Entertainment k.) National Geographic Channel.

Will OTT Kill Pay-TV?

kill-tvAnalysts have been wondering if the availability of every-increasing free Over The Top television content from online sources will eventually kill the Pay TV industry… The answer is, “no”, at least not in the Western European Union.

According to a recent report by Analysis Mason research house as posted in Telecomms EMEA,Pay TV subscribers are set to grow from 9.2m to 113.3m over the next 5 years from 2013 to 2018. During this time period, OTT services will indeed grow faster, but only to approximately 5.6m users.

Cesar Bachelet, senior analyst at Analysis Mason, explains that users are unlikely to abandon pay-TV services for OTT equivalents, but notes the effect of OTT services will be most heavily felt on secondary TV sets.

IPTV users will grow from 6.2m to 27.6m and satellite users from 1.1m to 31.6m. Analog Cable subscribers will contract by 2.9m, from 46.5m down to 43.6m, while Direct to TV (DTT) users will drop by half a million users from 5.4m to 4.9m.

STP for OTT and IPTV Projects

ABOX42-NORMALA new player from Germany in the development of Television Set Top Boxes has entered the scene. The company is called ABox42, and their product is an STB platform for IPTV,  OTT and CloudTV projects.

The ABOX42 B and M Series Smart STB product lines offers both, cost effective and high performance STBs for even the most demanding IPTV, OTT and CloudTV services for all kinds of applications, requirements and feature sets.

ABOX42 saw that the convergence of Internet and TV is opening up new opportunities for new business models in the OTT field for already established operators as well as for new market players.

In this changed world of TV and new Internet technologies ABOX42 has become a leading player and experienced manufacturer of next gerneration OTT and IPTV STBs.

ABOX42 has 4 years expertise and knowledge of managing end-user mass-market products. ABOX42 is specialized in developing customized STB solutions for international customers and has already deployed over 100 OTT services.

Future of Linear Scheduled Television

story-of-televisionThe Future of Innovation in Television Technology (FITT) just came out with it’s second report for August 2013 that predicts the 2025 television landscape. The report evaluated transformations to the music industry as a result of the analog to digital shift in order to draw many of it’s conclusions. Here are some of the noteworthy predictions:

  • Mobile devices in 2025 will contain processing power greater than todays fastest and most powerful desktop computers.
  • The storage capacity of SD cards has been doubling every year for a decade, by 2025, it is predicted that an SD card will 2 Petabytes, enough space to store 500 million MP3 songs.
  • Broadband internet speeds will be up at 2.5,GBPS while currently in Singapore, a range of 5mbps to 100mbps is most common.
  • Linear TV with a desire to watch high quality live TV content will still be dominant. Even when the content is not live, sharing a cultural experience with others by tuning into the same content, at the same time, is a powerful phenomena.
  • Expect an increase in catch-up TV and video on demand at the expense of live and time-shifted content.
  • There will be an industry in search, just for TV content, ability to perform granular searches on 40 years of linear TV content.

The report goes on to discuss the future of TV Networks and Infrastructures, data management and the evolution of devices and applications. It is an excellent, fact filled and well written report, a must-read for those in the TV industry.

While most of the 2025 predictions seem like safe bets, we believe the demand for linear scheduled TV, as highlighted above, is greatly overstated, if not just plain wrong.

When the VCR was introduced, many predictions called for the demise of movie theaters, but that never happened, due to a phenomena pointed out by John Naisbitt termed High Tech High Touch.

The high-touch phenomena has allowed movie theaters to thrive over the years, despite technological advances that have rendered it obsolete, but can this phenomena hold together linear scheduled broadcast television? We say no.

Live TV and broadcast sporting events will of course will thrive, due to the high touch phenomena of this experience. However, linear scheduled TV programming is becoming increasingly fragmented as time-shift devices such as bhaalu allows consumers to watch what they want, whenever they want.

Unlike a movie theatre, where you are surrounded by others, watching linear scheduled Television is an alone experience, with nothing more than a perception that others are out there watching it along with you. The first time you experience time-shifted television, you will know just how thin that perception is.

With the growth of time-shifting DVR devices, the perception that others are watching the same program along with you dissolves. We believe by 2025, scheduled linear TV programming will continue to exist, but there will be little if any demand for it, it will have no high-touch cohesive power and will be unable to draw cultural phenomena feelings. In essence, we believe it will be as bland and one dimensional as FM radio is today.

Arrested Development  pioneered a new way of consuming television, which through social media platforms, did in fact draw together a cohesive cultural movement, offering a new model for the future of high-touch television.

Full FITT report here.

New, Less Expensive Fibre Broadband

ituThe International Telecommunications Union (ITU), after holding a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, is well on its way to approving a new standard of fibre broadband called  The service, which could provide internet speeds of up to 1Gbps (1000Mbps), is geared toward companies who want or need to provide such speeds (for HD or Ultra HD video streaming) but want to avoid expensive fibre installation costs.  According to ITU’s website, delivers fibre-like speeds using copper wire, and can do so up to 250 metres from away from its main distribution point.  This would allow for customer installation without technical support (hopefully), thereby drastically reducing costs for both providers and consumers.

Jim Barthold says would make it possible for smaller companies to provide large amounts of bandwidth which has previously been impossible for them to afford:

“The standard is backed by multiple service providers, chip manufacturers and system vendors, ITU said, because its top speeds would enable service providers to deliver upcoming bandwidth-rich services such as ultra high definition TV and multiple broadband service levels without investing in fiber to the home (FTTH). It would, in all likelihood, make IPTV service a reality for a number of smaller telcos with limited financial and network resources.”

Widespread use of will surely follow its approval, predicted to be in early 2014. The only drawback of the service, which was addressed and resolved at the Geneva meeting, is making sure that equipment doesn’t interfere with FM radio frequencies. 

It seems now that traditional copper wire can yet still serve a revolutionary purpose.  This new standard of fibre broadband – designed almost exclusively for the purposes of IPTV – will no doubt launch the industry into a new era where smaller companies, simply because of lower startup costs, can challenge those with more resources.  With, success in the IPTV market will depend much more on the quality of the product by leveling the bandwidth playing field.

Referenced from FierceIPTV and