Earlier this year, when announcing their bid for the San Francisco wireless network, Google executives indicated that they plan to work closely with the incumbents including cable operators and the phone companies. Given the antagonistic stance taken by some Bell executives, it is safer that Google might be looking to work closely with MSOs on its next generation efforts such as video and voice over the Internet. Proof of this direction might be found in this job posting. The company is currently seeking software engineers who have ability to work cable systems. Amongst the requirements include experience in DOCSIS and DVB.
The details of posting indicate that Google is looking to take its “television” effort into the incumbent networks, and also extend them to the “third screen,” i.e. the mobile handset. As companies like Nokia and Qualcomm roll out their mobile video-only networks, Google could easily become one (or more) channel on those devices. On a more speculative tip, it could also mean that Google is looking to take a page out of Yahoo’s incumbent-partnership strategy and become a partner for non-US telecoms. They have a partnership with T-Mobile/Deutsche Telekom. Have a look at the posting, and see what you think, and comeback and leave a comment.
Update: Cynthia adds, “Comcast took the extraordinary step of partnering with Google for a bid on a share of AOL. And Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said he wanted to turn his company into the “Google” of video. “
7 thoughts on “Google & The MSOs”
Goog needs to learn how to work partnerships – MSO’s will not be easy to partner given that Goog is competing with them in the broadband/content space.
Content distribution via the IPTV medium depends on the lucrative last-mile ownership – cablecos and the former bells rule that. MSO’s will dictate terms when it comes to the pipes.
Free content accessible to any wireless handheld platform is cool – as long as wireless companies charge for access they love suppliers of free content, drives up their revenue. Wireless partnerships are ‘not’ exclusive – mobile content delivery will be driven by cheaper access to mobile broadband >>> next wave. Google will focus on this rather than trying to own the living room experience.
Not clear why you think the job posting is specifically geared towards cable specific technologies. DVB is unlikely to be adopted by the MSO in the U.S. anytime soon (more likely to be adopted by the telcos and satellites), and they also specifically call out for IPTV experience, which is likely a reference to telco-based video distribution.
One of the biggest trials of IPTV is from a large MSO – Comcast. IPTV refers to video transfer technology based on IP and has everything to do with cable headends being upgraded to support IP transmission..already happening in many areas.
Where do you think on-demand TV can be exploited the best?
Here is something for you to refer:
Ref: the job posting —
The job looks more specific to writing software that drives set-top boxes >>> specifically IPG, Content search and DVR drivers that can Googlize the TV experience.
Man – I think I should apply for an evangelist job with Google 😉
I worked in the iTV space for a long time, specifically with Comcast and the Telcos (and partly on IPTV).
While it’s true that Comcast is working hard to upgrade their infrastructure to support two-way IP video distribution, the cost of doing so across their entire network is extremely prohibitive (especially given the billions they’ve spent to upgrade the past couple years). The telcos, on the other hand, have the infrastructure in-place, and are currently working very hard to roll-out IPTV across the nation. Comcast (and others) are rolling out IPTV in small pockets, but I have a feeling that the big push will come from the telcos in the near future.
The telcos also lead this effort internationally, where the bulk of their digital competition is from the satellite companies, not the MSOs.
Certainly not saying that Om or Dinesh are wrong about their predictions, but I think it would be short-sighted of Google to focus so narrowly on the MSO partners.