Al-Falak, the leading IT and Communications solutions provider in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) region, has successfully completed the system integration of the world’s first fully integrated and redundant IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) Triple Play project for Qatar Telecom (Qtel)
With the implementation, QTel has set the benchmark for the deployment of PAL (MPEG4) AVC H2.64 format of IPTV. IPTV is a digital television service delivered to subscribers using the Internet Protocol often in conjunction with the subscriber's Internet connection, supplied by a broadband operator using the same infrastructure and bandwidth.
Ahmad Ashadawi, President and CEO, Al-Falak, said, “As telecommunications technology rapidly evolves, Service Providers such as Qtel are searching for services that add value to their customers. IPTV is one such technology which harnesses the strengths of the broadband to deliver high quality services that includes two-way capability lacked by traditional TV distribution technologies, as well as point-to-point distribution allowing each viewer to view individual broadcasts. IPTV promises lower costs for operators and lower prices and greater choice for the subscribers.”
“IPTV has rewritten the traditional concept of broadcasting. The technology is significant as it provides a way of distributing data load across connected client systems as well as the service providers own server infrastructure, thereby dramatically decreasing operational costs. In addition, the system is completely secure and offers greater control for the provider of the content being streamed,” says Ashadawi. “Moreover the IPTV can be layered over conjunct services such as video, telephony and data services ensuring good value proposition for the consumer.”
Dr. Nasser Marafih, CEO, Qtel, said, “Once again, Qtel has demonstrated its commitment to provide customers with advanced, innovative technologies that add to the richness to life in Qatar. Our investment in the country’s advanced IP network has so far been a great advantage to our business customers. Now the benefits come into our homes with this Triple Play service. Shortly, we can provide for the first time in the Middle East, the very best, most advanced entertainment and internet service at very affordable prices.”
For the IPTV project, Al-Falak integrated the products and services of several international solution providers. EVS Broadcast Equipment of Belgium provided the censoring equipment, while TUT Systems of USA provided the Headend equipment that accepts, demuxes, encodes and transcodes, various types of feed. The company also provided AD Insert equipment that enables the service provider to insert advertisements into a running stream. C-COR from Germany provided Video-On-Demand (VOD) and Personal Video Recorder (PVR) equipment that enables the consumer to store and replay a streaming feed.
Verimatrix, a leading provider of Content protection solution provided VCAS, a software based content encryption solution that is used to protect the streams to deter hacking or prevent unauthorized access. I3 Micro from Sweden provided the Voice Residential Gateways (VRG) that allows the customer to connect to the service provider, and provide wired and wireless connections to support high speed internet access, as well as telephony over IP. The company along with another Swedish company, Kreatel, provided the Set Top Boxes (STB) that allows the customer to interact with the Triple Play installation. Myrio and Siemens, provided the middle ware solutions for the IPTV network. At a later stage, Al Falak is also integrating a gaming module, wherein users can play games of their choice online.
“Al-Falak with the help of its international collaborators has proven beyond doubt its commitment to deliver the most advanced IPTV Triple Play installation of its kind in the world, through this implementation,” Ashadawi concluded.
For home-users, the IPTV service offers the full wealth of multi-media entertainment on a scale never before seen in the region. The service will provide access to more than 125 digital TV channels offering the latest news, movies, music, sports and kids entertainment. The service also allows parental control to ensure that kids are protected from violent or unacceptable content.
Qtel pointed out that the launch of the IPTV service has been a major achievement and congratulated Al-Falak Co., the Systems Integrator and the company’s it collaborated with for a job well done.
© 2007 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )