Telefonica to introduce OTT set-top box
By Robert Briel
Published: October 11, 2010 07.18 Europe/London

Spanish telecoms operator Telefonica has chosen Oregan Networks as the supplier of client-side middleware, powering Over The Top (OTT) video deployments in Telefónica’s Spanish home market as well as other areas of Telefónica’s global footprint.

The new middleware will allow Telefónica’s broadband consumers to search and playback content from various sources using high-speed broadband access, but also including locally stored content on personal home devices, mobile appliances, TV programme catch-up services and premium pay-per-view video libraries.

Telefónica will employ the new technology not only in Spain, but across its footprint including the Latin American region which represents 64% of the telecom operator’s total subscriber base, and a region where pay-TV market penetration has been historically limited.

“As the OTT market is poised to complement traditional pay-TV, we’ve made it certain that the best of connected home entertainment is within reach of our subscribers in the environment most suited for its consumption: directly on TV, said Fernando Garcia, Head of OTT Strategy and Products at Telefónica, in a statement.

Mark G Perry, CEO of Oregan Networks said, “Driven by the rapid progress in maturity and consumer familiarity with Internet applications and technologies, Over The Top content represents an important ingredient in today’s telecoms services mix.” He added, “Telefónica is a project of great magnitude and significance for Oregan and we are pleased to be contributing to the telco’s effort in developing new frontiers of entertainment through our technology and solid expertise in Internet media access systems for TV.”

The announcement by Oregon and Telefonica marks a heating up of the Spanish market. Just last week, Vodafone Spain announced its hybrid set-top box from Wyplay allowing their customers to access internet content on their TV set and combining this with DTT reception of both pay and FTA channels. The Telefonica STB brings the traditional IPTV services together with OTT from the open internet. Both announcements are part of a trend that operators are now choosing to open up their boxes to content from the web.