KORTRIJK, Belgium, October 8, 2008 - Cisco announced today that it has signed an agreement with Tiscali, the Italian alternative telecommunications operator, to supply Cisco® Internet Protocol Next-Generation Network (IP NGN) architecture and Cisco IP television (IPTV) headend equipment and technology for the Tiscali.tv IPTV service. The comprehensive portfolio of Cisco video headend products, supported by the company's long-standing expertise in IP-based video delivery and the systems integration skills of Cisco SciCareTM Services, provided the headend solution to support Tiscali's new standard-definition (SD) digital video service.
The video headend, which was designed, configured and installed by Cisco, provides a robust, highly redundant architecture to help deliver superior service reliability. It employs Moving Picture Experts Group-4 (MPEG-4) Advanced Video Coding (AVC) for bandwidth-saving performance along with a high-quality video viewing experience for Tiscali.tv customers across Italy in Cagliari, Rome, Milan, Bologna, Firenze, Genova, Napoli, Palermo and Torino. "The importance of video in a triple-play service package cannot be underestimated," said Fabrizio Meli, Tiscali's head of IPTV. "We teamed with Cisco for this critical service launch to take advantage of Cisco's skills, knowledge and local support for our network in Italy, which is part of one of the broadest and most interconnected IP technology-based networks in the world."
Included in the broad range of products for the complete Cisco video headend were the Cisco MPEG-4 AVC Advanced Encoder (Model D9034), Cisco Program and Commercial Receivers (Models D9850 and D9844), Cisco 4948 Aggregation Routers, Cisco Digital Content Manager (Model D9900) and the Cisco GalaxyTM Acquisition Platform including ATLASTM DVB-T Receivers. Additional operational capabilities for the national IPTV video headend are being delivered by the Cisco ROSA® Network Management System, which cost-effectively monitors and controls the network devices. This solution can manage remote sites for video content contribution and distribution for Tiscali from a central network operations site, providing a comprehensive view of the status of all components across the network via an easy-to-use, intuitive Web-based interface. Cisco SciCare Services, which supported Tiscali's extensive video quality testing of encoders from multiple vendors and testing for Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) interoperability, provided a wide range of headend installation services and will deliver ongoing technical support for the headend's operation.
"Tiscali has strengthened its position as a premier IP telecommunications operator with the launch of innovative IPTV services in Italy," said Stefano Venturi, managing director, Cisco Italy and vice president, Cisco. "Cisco's IP NGN architecture, IPTV headend technology and systems integration expertise deliver a comprehensive solution that met Tiscali's goals to deliver high video quality while providing the very best user experience in the home."