It seems quite simple and, on face value it is. But in what is only becoming an increasingly competitive environment, customers enjoy an abundance of choices when it comes to their voice, video, and data services. Gone are the times when subscribers paid three monthly bills -- one to a telephone company, another to a cable provider, and a third to an ISP. Certainly, some still do, believing they are getting best of breed services still, while willing to absorb an additional cost to do so.
The service quality question between single- and multi-vendor subscriptions is certainly up for debate. With transport and access networks being migrated to all-IP infrastructures, the differentiation between service quality from one to the other is not only diminishing, but those providers that have developed high-speed IP networks are well positioned to provide high quality triple play services. Furthermore, they offer significant cost savings over the traditional one service per vendor model -- a fact that has become even more significant with the current economy.
What it comes down to, then, is the quality of the network and the service delivery architecture, which is where providers are looking to differentiate themselves, especially as they drive new features, applications, and services to market. In today's market, it really becomes a question of being able to deliver quality of experience for the subscriber.
When designing or upgrading their network infrastructures, service providers have to not only consider their need to distribute various services, applications, and media reliably across the network to countless users, but they must also address scalability concerns, due to subscriber growth as well as increased use of certain services, as we are seeing with video today.
That's precisely what AT&T sought to accomplish when it built out its delivery solution for its U-verse service, its triple play offering. U-verse is now available in 93 markets in 19 states, with more than 1.3 million subscribers to its video service. With the video market only expected to grow, AT&T has to ensure it is able to accommodate that growth, and has extended its contract with its network integration partner of choice, Alcatel-Lucent.
Using Alcatel-Lucent's Triple Play Service Delivery Architecture, AT&T has been able to integrate its U-verse TV service into its overall infrastructure, ensuring it can reliably deliver an expanding set of feature-rich services to its growing subscriber base.
TPSDA is designed specifically to meet the next generation needs of triple play service providers as they continue to transform their networks to handle increasing volumes of high-speed, bandwidth intensive applications. It is based on Alcatel-Lucent's carrier Ethernet and service aware technologies, allowing AT&T to cost effectively optimize its service delivery while allowing each network element to work at maximum efficiency.
Alcatel-Lucent's solution also brings the various technologies and devices together in a suite of subscriber and network management and security capabilities, providing AT&T with the control it needs to effectively maintain its services and accelerate the deployment of new services, while reducing operational costs. As AT&T introduces new services, Alcatel-Lucent also provides additional integration services and solution testing and validation capabilities, essential to an effective rollout.
AT&T has certainly increased its overall presence in the communications market, being the sole iPhone vendor in the U.S. As it looks to further increase its market share, particularly in the growing video and overall triple play spaces, it will continue to rely heavily on Alcatel-Lucent's technology. Fortunately, it has chosen to partner with a vendor whose fixed broadband expertise is unquestioned.
"As AT&T U-verse expands even further across the country, we are looking forward to continuing to provide AT&T with our multivendor, end-to-end network integration capabilities," said Robert Vrij, President of Alcatel-Lucent's Americas business.