SOURCE: Thomson

November 08, 2006 08:50 ET

Falcon Communications Deploys Thomson's IPTV Solutions to Enable US Operators to Launch Triple Play Services

Boulogne Cedex -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 8, 2006 -- Falcon Communications Deploys Thomson's IPTV Solutions to Enable US Operators to Launch Triple Play Services

Leading US systems integrator using Thomson's packaged IPTV service delivery environment to help telcos offer up to 200 channels of digital programming

Paris/Los Angeles Calif., November 08, 2006 - Leading U.S. telecommunications systems integrator Falcon Communications is rolling out a comprehensive IPTV platform based on an end-to-end solution featuring encoding, content delivery, service management, and access products from Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS).

The first IPTV project to feature so many elements coming from a single supplier, this deployment includes the Thomson SmartVision service management platform and multiple Thomson IP set-top boxes, as well as NetProcessor™ and ViBE products from the Grass Valley business within Thomson. Using Thomson's packaged IPTV solutions, Falcon Communications is addressing the market need for a practical and scaleable proposition for small cable and telecom operators to rapidly and easily deploy IPTV services.

The local operator market is one of the fastest-growing in the US telecom industry with 1,200 small incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECS) and an estimated 800 to 900 competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs). Many of the customers served by these local operators are in rural areas, and are not passed by cable. Architected to rapidly expand access to content for customers in rural locations, the Falcon Communications platform is essentially an IPTV-head-end-in-a-box solution that allows US telecommunications companies to easily offer their subscribers a multi-channel television service to which they could not otherwise have access.

"IPTV is an exciting way to bring new choices to consumers, and for telcos to retain their traditional markets by expanding their offerings. The depth and breadth of our product portfolio makes us uniquely qualified to meet Falcon Communications' end-to-end IPTV requirements," said Jacques Dunogué, Senior Executive Vice President Thomson's Systems Division. "Falcon Communications' innovative approach combined with Thomson's award winning Quadruple Play technologies is the perfect combination to get an attractive and wide-ranging IPTV service up and running quickly and cost-effectively."

The Falcon Communications offering aggregates more than 200 national television channels from an IP satellite service. A Grass Valley™ NetProcessor receives multi-programmed transport streams, strips the different protocol layers, separates the individual channels and then distributes them as single-programmed transport streams over the IP access network. Local stations are encoded and inserted into the service using Grass Valley ViBE MPEG-4 encoders. The result is a wide choice of local and national channels for rural IPTV subscribers who previously had considerably more limited selections.

Falcon Communications is using Thomson's SmartVision IPTV service management platform to manage all the available content -- live channels today and, in the future, video on demand - as well as their subscriber and service offering management and supervision. SmartVision also includes a user-friendly interface on the TV and on the Web, allowing subscribers to easily search and select from the large number of channels and content available. This user interface can be easily customized to fit the need of each telecom operator serviced through Falcon's platform.

Finally, multiple Thomson IP-MPEG4 SD/HD based set-top boxes will be deployed to customers subscribing to the telecommunications service providers which the Falcon Communications IPTV headend platform is supporting.

"We have taken a radically new approach to rolling out IPTV," said Donald Cook, president and CEO of Falcon Communications. "Our content bundling provides all the content aggregation, so each individual telco just needs to break it out into individual channels, add local content, and send it over their network. We chose Grass Valley and Thomson products to build our headend platform because we are impressed with their flexibility, we know they will be reliable, and we can build a compact as well as cost-effective system," he said. "We are extremely confident that the Falcon offering will be seen as very attractive, particularly to tier-two and tier-three three telcos, and we are aggressively promoting the system. So confident are we that we have already ordered 25 such systems from Thomson."


Certain statements in this press release, including any discussion of management expectations for future periods, constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the "safe harbor" of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the future results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements due to changes in global economic and business conditions, consumer electronics markets, and regulatory factors. More detailed information on the potential factors that could affect the financial results of Thomson is contained in Thomson's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

About Thomson — World leader in digital video technologies

Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) provides technology, services, and systems to help its Media & Entertainment clients - content creators, content distributors and users of its technology - realize their business goals and optimize their performance in a rapidly changing technology environment. The Group is the preferred partner to the Media & Entertainment Industries through its Technicolor, Grass Valley, RCA, and Thomson brands. For more information:

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|  Marie Boidot      |  +33 1 41 86 51 00|marie.boidot@thomson|
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