New Service Delivery
TM Forum, Martin Creaner
Cisco Systems, Jay Mellman & Karen Sage
TM Forum, Keith Willetts
Dimetis, Dr. Shahin Arefzadeh
TMF, Internet Renewal
GE Energy, John Turner
Ascom, Domenico Carapezza
Carrier Services
New Service Delivery
WiMAX Update
Home | New Service Delivery | Dimetis, Dr. Shahin Arefzadeh
Dr. Shahin ArefzadehBOSS man

Intercomms talks to Dr. Shahin Arefzadeh Chief Technology Officer & VP Engineering at Dimetis about the company's role in Broadcast Operational Support Systems

Dr. Arefzadeh has 15+ years experience in the IT/Telecommunication & TV Broadcast industries, serving in a variety of architect/engineering roles for numerous multinational corporations including Telecordia & Granite, as well as several German startups. He is responsible for Dimetis’ products in video aware OSS environments.

Q: What is Dimetis doing?
A: We are an established Systems Integrator with extensive experience of and focus on Broadcast Operational Support Systems (OSS) and Video Aware OSS. Our company has more than 25 years experience in telco, broadcast environment, typically specialising in providing clients with solutions customized to their needs. In the last three years we have been changing our strategy to exploit our strengths with the goal of becoming the leading product company in the Broadcast OSS (BOSS) market.

We of course know we can't be number one either as an overall Systems Integrators or as a general OSS supplier. We did however realise that no one could match our expertise and experience in end to end fulfilment and assurance in the process of bridging broadcasters and content providers with the world, through telecom carriers.

It was clear that Dimetis already supplied OSS in the area of services related to high bandwidth video and media for the purposes of Broadcast services, across the world. We supplied to the world's largest carriers in this respect such as Deutsche Telekom and realized that this was a point in time where it would become critical to bridge these two worlds with a single OSS system. We felt that we could be number one in this category of Broadcast OSS.

Q: What is Broadcast OSS all about?
A: BOSS bridges disparate standards, networks, equipments and software used in broadcast and telecoms, together to ensure that the movement of high quality video media is achieved smoothly and efficiently.

BOSS serves to fill the void in operating systems that operators are discovering as networks attempt to accommodate the full range of omnipresent video communications that are finally coming of age.

Telcos are doing a fantastic job when they have to provide a mass market service. The problem though, is that video is not a traditional service. Providing consumers with real-life sight and sound takes up enormous bandwidth. You cannot just setup the pipe and expect that the service will cross your network without being negatively affected.

Video/broadcast needs special attention. Look for example at IPTV. In a compressed IPTV broadcast, MPEG2 you are sending I-, B-, PFrames. If you lose one of the main frames, your service is affected. Based on this simple example one can see just how difficult it is to get video across networks.

That is a huge change over audio signals many are accustomed to. Human ears are very forgiving. If you lose voice packets, our brain is able to assemble the missing piece based on internal pattern recognition. The science is radically different.

Q: How do you see the overall market changing? Is convergence between telco and broadcast already happening? What about media convergence?
A: With voice no longer being the cash cow for telcos, they instead need to focus on "revenuegenerating" services. It is obvious that video and video-related services will be the dominant service of the future. Media convergence is already there. IPTV is just the tip of the iceberg. Interactive video based services will eat up the available bandwidth. If you factor in the requirements for HDTV, then you are really going start fighting to get whatever bandwidth is available out there. The issue until Wave Division Multiplexing was a lack of bandwidth in the pipes. That has been solved because all that was missing was an operating system that could meld the two distinct worlds of standards and equipments found in telcoms and broadcast. We have been able to do this since the late Nineties in Europe and we have now found the demand is occurring and growing world wide.

Q: Where is the networking market going to?
A: In the traditional broadcast market, operators are switching to Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS). In the traditional telco market however, MPLS has become almost a commodity. As hardware prices are dropping, the devices will become smarter. They can now process more and just look at the intelligent layer we used to see in Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) that can now be deployed in Provider Backbone Transport using what is basically an Ethernet based technology. We expect to see also Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (ROADM) and more optical equipment competing in this market. For the time being, IP is the dominant means of transport and will remain so for the next couple of years. IP gears are easy to deploy and easier to manage.

The big players in the market are all undertaking significant acquisitions in media domain - Cisco/SA, Ericsson/Tandberg, Motorola/Terayon, Alcatel as they switch again from being primarily suppliers of text and spoken word equipment to the carriers.

Q: What is the value proposition of Dimetis?
A: We are bi-lingual in 'telco' and 'broadcast'. Few companies are able to converse in both the languages spoken by our customers. Not only do we speak both languages, but we also support services in both domains, which have their own unique parameters. When you add this to the modern software environment and technologies we are using, that is Dimetis.

Q: Who would buy software from Dimetis?
A: Our customers are broadcasters, telco, cable and satellite operators. We have a very good international presence across Europe as well as in the US. Companies who work with us include Telekom Austria, SRG, DT, ORS, WDR, NDR and we have recently secured three new customers in the US, France and Italy.

Q: What does the Dimetis-ROI model look like?
A: Areas of concern for most operators are: data migration, communication with existing legacy components, deployment time, total cost of ownership and flexibility regarding the price model. We take all these seriously and have designed our software in such a way that operators can really focus on their main job, namely providing services. In such as competitive environment, telcos will need more flexibility with pricing. In a commodity market, the pricing model and how you want to charge your customer will be key.

Our products are NGOSS and modular fulfilment and assurance point solutions that are backwards compatible within existing OSS deployments. Our solutions require no massive overhaul of networks and as they are SOA based. Consequently, anyone can take these products off the shelf and integrate them within their existing environment.

The key to achieving that is that we don't supply either carriers or customers with custom software. This avoids the need to provide the raft of upgrades and the never ending spiral of change that custom software engenders.

Q: Why do you think in such competitive OSS market your company is bringing value to operators?
A: We provide two capabilities: one being a point solution for video/broadcast and secondly, we are able to manage future Next Generation Network services end-to-end from the location where the content is created to the end-user. In the latter case we provide an integrated OSS solution. We help the end users break the mould of high cost, custom software and enter at a point where today there is a vacuum, which at this moment is Broadcast OSS.

Q: Is your software compliant to any standard?
A: Yes, our software is fully compliant to the TM Forum's NGOSS, SID, OSS/J and MTOSI/mTOP. Moreover we have developed our software based on SOA, Ajax and can run it in a very small environment as well as with the biggest telcos in the world.

Q: Where do you see the market going toward? What is next?
A: Media Content delivery within telcos has become reality. The question is whether or not telcos can/will become full content provider. Apart from legal issues in some countries, technically they probably could all do it. We think telcos will become even more customer focused. Everything can be on-demand, from service request to modification of existing services. Customer-selfprovisioning tool will become mandatory not optional. Customers are no longer affected by OSS, they will be part of the OSS and have huge impact on their scalability. Nevertheless, in all cases, the Telco's pipes with carry the "crude oil" of content since they own the pipes. Our software with make sure this happens flawlessly.

For more information visit:

Upcoming Events
Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict