Don’t like your local cable company? Then why don’t you get pay TV straight from Mexico, India or the Middle East? That’s the idea behind Verismo, a company that is announcing the launch of a new triple-play platform targeted towards virtual MSOs later today.
Verismo initially started out in the retail business, selling its over-the-top set-top boxes by cooperating with companies like Sherwood and Netgear as well as its own VuNow brand. Verismo EVP Dhaval Ajmera told me during a phone conversation yesterday that his company eventually decided to move up the chain and target MSOs directly.
It rolled out an extended platform last year, which is capable of combining OTT video with linear TV delivered over the Internet. The company now wants to up the ante by adding VoIP services and a broadband modem to its hardware, enabling triple-play packages. That proposition is especially interesting to MSOs that try to extend their market beyond their traditional reach. In other words: Verismo doesn’t anticipate providing its technology to Comcast, but it could sign up with someone who wants to compete on Comcast’s (s CMCSK) home turf by carving out a niche.
One of these niches consists of expats who try to keep up with programming from their home countries. “It’s a huge market,” said Ajmera, adding that his company is already working with a virtual MSO targeting the Greek community in the U.S. Verismo also has deals with providers in India, the Caribbean, Somalia and the Middle East, and the Mexican ISP Telmax recently started to distribute its hardware as part of its ToTotv offering. Another deal with a big U.S. provider is supposedly forthcoming, but Ajmera declined to provide further details. Ajmera also claimed that the company’s products are deployed in over 90 countries, but didn’t want to provide any details about the actual household footprint.
We’ve been writing about the idea of such virtual MSOs for quite a while, and the idea that someone could migrate to another country and simply take is cable TV service with him is pretty interesting. However, what will happen to long-term viability of such models once more and more programmers move online and platforms like Google TV become more popular? For now, Ajmera isn’t worried. “Google doesn’t have a service provider model yet,” he said.
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