At the TM Forum’s Management World conference in Nice, France, May 4-8, a hot topic for cable and telco operators will be video on three screens, especially on mobile screens, which is of particular interest to European consumers.

Other topics relevant to the broadband industry will include advanced advertising technologies, monetizing the delivery of video to multiple platforms, and Internet Protocol Detail Record (IPDR) technology.

The TM Forum will host an IPDR Users Group, which collaborates on implementation-specific challenges. (For more on IPDR, click here.)

Some new technologies will be demonstrated at little R&D-like laboratories known as Catalysts, where vendors have an opportunity to show how they would solve industry problems. One of the more popular Catalysts is known as Content Encounter. (For more, click here.)

"Content Encounter is a Catalyst Project on steroids," said Jim Warner, head of digital media, content and advertising at the TM Forum.

Warner said Content Encounter came about a couple of years ago when video on the Internet was first starting to build steam. The TM Forum decided to look at delivering online video content from end-to-end.

In its current iteration, Content Encounter 4.0 will focus on advanced advertising, open standards, delivery to multiple screens and monetizing IP video. There will be "much more of a mobile TV focus," said Warner, adding that European providers are especially interested in advanced advertising on cell phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs).

"The United States tends to lag Europe in mobile applications. They (Europe) tend to be easily six months to a year ahead," said Warner, attributing it to the prevalence of the global system for mobile communications (GSM) standard in Europe, while the United States uses the CDMA 2000 standard more commonly.

"There’s a lot of interest in Europe right now to blend video content with location-based advertising," he said. With the ability of cell phones to geo-locate, advertisers can send location-appropriate ads, such as restaurant recommendations or coupons.

Besides the personalization of advertising, Content Encounter will look at the ad agency side of the equation in terms of standardized ad contracts, measurement of ads and billing. Participants will include Verizon, Swisscom, BBC, Alcatel Lucent, Microsoft, IBM and Telcordia. (For more on advanced advertising, click here.)


Amazon’s Chief Technology Officer Werner Vogels will join other execs speaking at the conference’s opening keynote.

"(Amazon) has gone from a very simple retail business to a very broad-based retail business with quite a complex value chain," said Martin Creaner, president of the TM Forum.

"The complexity of delivering content is going up exponentially from a relatively small number of providers, increasing by orders of magnitude," he said. Related to this topic are revenue apportionment issues, digital rights management challenges and content rights issues.

Creaner said the overall theme for this TM Forum gathering is strategies and tactics for tough times. "Taking into account the economic challenges, we’ve focused the main keynotes on what services the market is demanding," he said.

Cable executives speaking at the conference include: Mehrdad Mansourpour, managing director and CIO, UPC Broadband; Chuck Harvey, VP of ITS business operations for Rogers Communications; Michael Lawrey, executive director of operations for Telstra; Bryn Jones, director of mobile delivery for Virgin Media; Frank Bauer, manager of business services assurance for Cablecom; and Rodrigo Duclos, CTO, net services de Comunicacao S.A.

The May conference is expected to draw 3,000 to 3,200 attendees.

– Linda Hardesty

Read more news and analysis on Communications Technology‘s Web site at

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