Based on its recent analysis of the pay TV middleware market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Wyplay with the 2014 Global Frost & Sullivan Award for Customer Value Leadership. Wyplay’s Frog, an open source middleware solution, allows Pay-TV service providers to seamlessly blend content sourced from hybrid sources including over the top (OTT), Satellite, Cable, Terrestrial digital television and conventional IPTV managed channels. With more established vendors offering self-contained middleware solutions typically optimized for one primary type of managed delivery, Wyplay stands out for its ability to meet the next-generation service needs of Cable, DTT, direct to home (DTH) and Internet protocol TV (IPTV) service providers at competitive price points in an open source model that gives operators flexibility and agility in responding to the needs of a changing transmission landscape.
“Unlike other multi-network middleware solutions, Wyplay is designed as a transparent solution. It enables a unified and consistently branded browsing and playback experience, regardless of the source a given linear channel or video on demand (VOD) title is sourced from,” said Frost & Sullivan Industry Manager Avni Rambhia. “For example, whether a channel is delivered over the air via DTT, satellite, traditional cable, or over the Internet, it appears as a service provider-branded offering to the subscriber; it is displayed in the same guide, and selected and rendered in the same manner.”
As Applications and User Interface can be based on HTML5, Frog can be deployed to existing set top boxes without requiring an expensive overhaul, as long as they have an IP connection. By extending the useful lifetime of expensive set top boxes through this software solution, Wyplay enjoys a lower barrier to entry while also delivering significant value to its operator customers by allowing them to economically and quickly pull their legacy installed base into a next-generation platform experience.
Frost & Sullivan estimates that the average cost of middleware is €15 per unit deployed. Additionally, companies typically charge upfront deployment fees, backend server fees, and ongoing service and maintenance fees. In contrast, Frog is licensed on a sliding scale that begins at €2 per subscriber and decreases with cumulative volume. The elimination of continuous royalties due to the lack of costs in the development phase or annual maintenance fees following deployment is another factor that sets Frog apart in the market.
“A key differentiator of Wyplay is that during development, even though Wyplay offers its own integration services, customers are free to work with a system integrator or development partner of their choice,” noted Rambhia. “Open source solutions always entail some additional measure of R&D and maintenance from the customer side, but even then, it is evident that Wyplay provides an extremely compelling price-performance value proposition.”
The lower price point enables service providers to innovate more aggressively with experimental models, such as social TV, where monetization is not yet significant. It also gives Wyplay a strong foothold in rapidly growing, yet cost-sensitive markets.
Importantly, Frog’s governance model does not include mandatory community contributions that are often part of open source licenses. Specifically, Wyplay does not demand that operators contribute their proprietary modifications to the source code back to the open source pool.
Wyplay also does not have any vested interests in parallel business models, so it does not require the inclusion of a proprietary app store or third-party VOD library, which is a must with some open source solutions. This gives operators the freedom to upgrade their version of the middleware and its apps, and distribute them freely, with or without continued reliance on Frog. This reduces perceived risk from a business perspective and provides a momentum boost from an engineering perspective.
Wyplay’s partner ecosystem spans the complete value chain from silicon, set-top box and system integrators to third-party software companies. It leverages direct sales for reaching Tier I customers, but is expanding to a partner-driven ecosystem distribution strategy to reach the lower tier customers and to expand geographically in markets such as Latin America, India and Southeast Asia.
“Overall, Frog is seeing significant traction in the embattled pay TV industry, not only on account of its enticing value proposition of effectively overhauling traditional services for the new age, but also due to its lightweight deployment process, competitive cost structure and liberal licensing policy,” observed Rambhia.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to a company that has demonstrated excellence in implementing strategies that proactively create value for its customers with a focus on improving the return on investment that customers make in its services or products. The award recognizes the company’s inordinate focus on enhancing the value that its customers receive—beyond simply good customer service—leading to improved customer retention and ultimately customer base expansion.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.
Duo glide around world’s largest fountain in Dubai
Paragliders Llorens and Goberna take magical flight above the Palm Fountain.
Horacio Llorens and Rafael Goberna defied gravity to perform The Breaking Pointe flight around the world’s biggest fountain at The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. Here is all you need to know:
– Spaniard Llorens is a five-time world champion and Infinity Tumbling Guinness World Record holder, who has performed a series of spectacular projects during the last five years including paragliding with a flock of starlings and with the beautiful Aurora Borealis as a backdrop.
– Brazilian Goberna was a Guinness Book of World Records winner at only 12-years-old and, in December 2016, he took to the skies above one of the seven wonders of the natural world when paragliding at Iguazu Falls.
– This time around, the duo teamed up in Dubai to showcase The Palm Fountain at the Pointe, Palm Jumeirah. They overcame a tricky preparation period to expertly glide between the fountain’s powerful jets of water.
– Spanning across the boulevard, the Palm Fountain features two giant floating platforms covering 14,000 square metres of sea water. Reaching an impressive 105 metres high and lighting up the Dubai sky with 3,000 LED lights, the fountain “dances” to hit songs from sunset until midnight.
– They undertook training first at Paramotor Desert Adventure on January 12 to test out their brakes and motors with technician Ramon Lopez finally arriving after being held up by the heavy snow in Madrid.
– Training was crucial for the challenge of flying during the night with low visibility as safety director Alan Gayton ensured they had a reserve parachute in case of a technical issue with the main parachute. Llorens and Goberna also had to study the movement of the water with great precision in order not to get caught up in the jets of water
– Flying over water, it was also mandatory to have a lifejacket with rescue boats, jet skis and divers on hand which came handy when Goberna suffered a technical malfunction on the first January 14 practice run.
– After repairs long into the night, they returned to Paramotor Desert Adventure to test out the motors again before completing the stunning flight on January 15 with Llorens and Goberna performing in harmony.
– Llorens, 38, revealed: “As soon as we got the opportunity, we wanted to fly there. We needed to know the area really well beforehand and we needed to know how to ‘play’ with the fountain – this was new for us. Such strong streams of water shooting 100 metres up is a lot, so we had to be really prepared.”
– Goberna, 26, explained: “The motor wasn’t flying so good because, prior to arriving in Dubai, it was last used in Europe at high altitude. I needed to adjust the carburettor in the air inside the motor. In the first practice flight over the water, I broke one propeller. I really couldn’t understand what was happening and then another one broke. Eventually, a backup motor was required. After a long journey, the final result was beautiful! The team worked incredibly hard to make it.”
– Llorens added: “The highlight for me was playing between the super shooters with Rafael, because it’s something we’ve never done before; it felt really new and really powerful.”
EU sets itself jobs, training and equality targets for 2030
By Jan Strupczewski
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission on Thursday announced goals for the 27-nation bloc to reduce poverty, inequality and boost training and jobs by 2030 as part of a post-pandemic economic overhaul financed by jointly borrowed funds.
The EU executive arm said the European Union should boost employment to 78% in 2030 from 73% in 2019, halve the gap between the number of employed women and men and cut the number of young people neither working nor studying to 9% from 12.6%
“With unemployment and inequalities expected to increase as a fallout of the pandemic, focusing our policy efforts on quality job creation, up- and reskilling and reducing poverty and exclusion is therefore essential to channel our resources where they are most needed,” the commission said.
The goals, which will have to be endorsed by EU leaders, also include an increase in the number of adults getting training every year to adapt to the EU’s transition to a greener and more digitalised economy to 60% from 40% now.
Finally, over the next 10 years, the EU should reduce the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion by 15 million from 91 million in 2019.
“These three 2030 headline targets are deemed ambitious and realistic at the same time,” the commission said.
The goals are part of the EU’s set of 20 social rights, agreed on in 2017, to make the EU more appealing to voters and counter eurosceptic sentiment across the bloc.
They say everybody has the right to quality education throughout their lives and that men and women must have equal opportunities in all areas and be paid the same for work of equal value.
The unemployed have the right to “personalised, continuous and consistent support”, while workers have the right “to fair wages that provide for a decent standard of living”.
(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Nick Macfie)
UK aero-engineer Meggitt eyes return to growth after pandemic slump
LONDON (Reuters) – British engineer Meggitt said that it could return to profit growth in 2021 provided there are no further lockdowns, despite a weakening in the struggling aviation market at the end of 2020 and early this year.
Pandemic restrictions halted much flying globally last year and forced plane makers Boeing and Airbus to cut production rates, dragging down suppliers like Meggitt, which makes and services parts for such aircraft.
Meggitt’s underlying operating profit plunged by 53% to 191 million pounds ($267 million) in 2020, it said on Thursday, despite continued growth in its defence business which makes parts for military jets and accounts for about 45% of the business.
Meggitt, however, said it expected air traffic to recover in the second half of the year which would help it return to profit growth over the year, although its guidance for flat revenue disappointed analysts who had expected growth of 6%.
Meggitt’s Chief Executive Tony Wood said in November that he had expected flying to start to recover by Easter, but new variants have led to more restrictions and delayed the recovery.
“It has gone back a couple of months… it’s now very much in the summer,” Wood said of the recovery in an interview on Thursday.
Further in the future, Meggitt is positioning itself for the move to lower emissions flying, and its sensors and electric motors will be used on electric urban air mobility platforms, such as flying taxis, and in hybrid aeroplanes being developed.
But Meggitt said new tax breaks announced in Britain’s annual budget on Wednesday aimed at encouraging investment would not change its plans.
“Yes, it will be a benefit. Are we looking at any acceleration as a result specifically of that? Not really,” Woods said.
Shares in Meggitt were down 1% to 427 pence at 0943 GMT. The stock has risen by 50% since news of a COVID-19 vaccine last November, but is still down 23% on where it was pre-pandemic.
($1 = 0.7165 pounds)
(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Alistair Smout and Susan Fenton)
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