NAGRA announced that its recently launched cloud service, made possible through a strategic alliance with Spain’s abertis telecom, was selected by two pay-TV service providers in Europe: Malta’s Melita PLC (formerly Melita Cable) and Italy’s Mediaset. Additionally, numerous free-to-air broadcasters are considering the service as an efficient way of enriching their existing offering with broadband services utilizing standards such as HbbTV. Melita PLC is in the process of upgrading its existing NAGRA conditional access system (CAS) to NAGRA CAS Cloud, NAGRA’s cloud-based CAS service, while Mediaset will utilize the service’s content delivery network (CDN) to deliver its current over-the-top (OTT) offering to subscribers. In both cases, the readily available solution was selected to simplify the service provider’s operations and hand over day-to-day operations and systems management to NAGRA, allowing the customers to focus on revenue generating activities. The NAGRA-abertis telecom cloud service is a highlight of the NAGRA showcase at IBC 2012, stand C81 in Hall 1 of the RAI Exhibition and Conference Center, September 7-11, 2012, in Amsterdam.

“We are thrilled to see that the service proposed by NAGRA and abertis telecom is meeting the expectations set forth at its launch,” said Pascal Lenoir, NAGRA’s Senior Vice President Solutions and Services Office. “Available today, it allows service providers to quickly deploy content protection or multiscreen services without the complexities often associated with such an endeavour, allowing them to focus on revenue-generating activities. Free-to-air broadcasters can also rapidly enrich existing business with complementary broadband services and monetization based on standards like HbbTV. It’s a win-win situation giving our customers the opportunity to optimize their Capex and Opex models.”

Melita PLC, part of the Melita Group in Malta and NAGRA customer since 2004, provides analogue, digital, interactive and high-definition TV services. By utilizing NAGRA CAS Cloud, Melita will have its conditional access system hosted off-site by NAGRA and abertis telecom who will take on the responsibility of managing all related setup, operations and monitoring activities. In addition to the content protection and hosting features offered by NAGRA CAS Cloud, the move will allow Melita to launch new features with less technical complexity and focus its efforts and resources on service quality, revenue generating activities and future services for their subscribers.

As part of their strategy to concentrate their effort on core activities, Mediaset subscribed to the Multiscreen Cloud Service offered by NAGRA and abertis telecom taking advantage of the Content Delivery Network (CDN) facilities for the delivery of its existing over-the-top services to its subscribers. By entrusting the management and monitoring of OTT content delivery to NAGRA and abertis telecom, Mediaset is able to focus on content management and the marketing of their video-on-demand services. Quality and affordability combined with the possibility of extending the solution to a fully hosted multiscreen television service were key decision factors for Mediaset.

Additionally, having actively promoted these services in close partnership with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the NAGRA-abertis telecom cloud service is currently in trials with a numbers of free-to-air broadcasters. The solution gives them the ability to improve their existing public service and rapidly enrich it with complementary broadband services, using standards such as HbbTV. In some cases, the service enables a quick consolidation of their existing advertising-based business model. Organizations who have expressed interest in the service include CZECH TELEVISION, RADIO TELEVISIÓN ESPAÑOLA (RTVE), LA SEXTA, TELEVISIÓ DE CATALUNYA, TELEMADRID, IB3, TELEVISIÓN DE GALICIA, RADIO TELEVISIÓN CANARIA (RTV CANARIA) RADIO Y TELEVISIÓN DE ANDALUCIA and EUSKAL IRRATI TELEBISTA - RADIO TELEVISIÓN VASCA.

Lenoir adds: “With all the advantages that a hosting service can bring, we expect the demand for such services to grow. Along with abertis telecom, we are now focusing our efforts on scaling our platform to meet the growing need for such services in Europe but also in other regions.”