Wyplay, creator of software solutions for leading pay-TV operators, and SIGFOX, a pioneer in cost-effective, energy-efficient IoT connectivity, today revealed a joint technology collaboration that yields significant benefits to pay-TV operators and enhanced customer experience.
The system, which will be showcased at 2015 International CES® in Las Vegas, Nev., integrates SIGFOX’s IoT cellular connectivity solution with Wyplay’s open-source pay-TV set-top-box (STB) middleware. This will allow TV operators to connect their broadcast decoders to their backend systems without a direct Internet connection, potentially providing enhanced service to two-thirds of all satellite subscribers worldwide.
In one use case, essential customer-care diagnostics information can be retrieved from STBs over SIGFOX’s network and cloud platform by the TV operator’s call-center staff. With this data, the operator can quickly identify the root cause of a customer complaint, such as a dead battery in the remote control or a disconnected satellite cable. This information can significantly shorten phone calls between call centers and customers, thus improving the subscriber’s satisfaction and reducing operating costs.
This integration has been made possible thanks to the open nature of the Frog Client middleware, the availability of SIGFOX Ready™ devices and the close cooperation of the Canal+ innovation team.
The source code for the Frog Client Middleware is available on the Frog Community Portal to more than 75 Licensee companies that are members of the Frog by Wyplay open innovation community. This group represents a large cross section of the pay-TV industry (operators, chipset vendor, devices manufacturers, technology services firms and independent solution vendors).
The SIGFOX global IoT network, which is operating in several European countries and will begin deployment in the U.S. in the beginning of 2015, is designed exclusively for two-way, small-message device communication. This eliminates the cost and energy-use barriers to wide adoption of the IoT and greatly extends the battery and service life of connected devices.
Drivers and APIs for SIGFOX-capable dongles and integrated chips will be pre-integrated in Wyplay’s Frog client open-source convergent TV middleware as part of the SIGFOX Ready™ program, in which SIGFOX certifies partner hardware to simplify installation and assure optimal performance.
“This partnership clearly illustrates the kind of win-win efficiencies that the Internet of Things can deliver via SIGFOX’s network and the innovative thinking that typifies the Frog by Wyplay alliance,” said Stuart Lodge, executive vice president global sales at SIGFOX. “Helping TV operators improve customer service, while lowering operating costs is a powerful example for other industries and service providers.”
“SIGFOX’s cellular connectivity solution is a cost-effective and pragmatic solution to improve the TV subscribers’ experience on already-deployed set-top-boxes and new devices alike,” said Dominique Féral, Wyplay’s CMO. He added:
“This plug & play solution will allow innovative pay-TV broadcast use cases such as user statistics and STB diagnostic recovery, push recommendations, remote recording and other features that improve functionality.”