Clarification of Answer by
12 Jan 2006 06:30 PST
Thank you for your clarification request! Two issues of focus as
Rogers forges into the future are high-definition TV and network
integration and performance. I found a great article by Jeff
Baumgartner and Leslie Ellis titled ?Men of the Year; Armed for the
future?Today? on the website for CED Magazine; it's dated January 1st,
2006 so the information is a fresh as it gets. :) The article profiles
three Rogers Communications executives and outlines their priorities
and visions for the future of Rogers. Here's an excerpt on Rogers
Communications VP of technology and architecture development,
?With multiple industries agog over the prospect of deploying IP
Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) technology, it's good that the one guy who
really, truly gets it is playing for the home team.
"...Brock can talk IMS from every angle (and in a dignified British
accent, to boot). When asked what it is: "In its simplest form, it's
an open, standardized, operator-friendly, next generation network
architecture that is nicely agnostic. It's fixed; it's mobile. It
transcends the applications environment. It's all IP; it's all SIP
(Session Initiation Protocol)."
?When asked why it matters: "IMS is a philosophy of change, because it
means you're not building monolithic networks anymore," Brock relates.
"You're saying, I have a cable network, and a wireless network, and a
fixed line network, and they're all going IP. How can one integrate
them to add value, and reduce operational expenses?"
?On the services front, IMS matters because it allows operators to
really enable, for the first time, cross-platform services, QoS,
authentication, encryption, and new concepts, like presence services,
Brock explains. Ultimately, he argues, it makes the cable pipe more
much valuable?and never "dumb."
"...The notion of "convergence" (yes, that word is back) is one of
Brock's top three priorities. Specifically, converged voice. That
means fixed mobile convergence (FMC), which allows a customer to
switch back and forth between the cellular network, and the in-home IP
network, to lock on to the best possible signal.?
And here's a bit on Dermot O'Carroll, the SVP of network engineering &
operations for Rogers Cable:
?Now, it's a matter of innovating?a mantra at the Canadian MSO.
?Two theories drive O'Carroll's engineering leadership. One is
Zen-like; the other scientific enough to warrant consideration as a
sort of "O'Carroll's Scaling Theorem."
?The Zen: That a company's greatest strength is also its greatest
weakness. In an applied sense, O'Carroll was talking about the
centralized nature of the Rogers network.
"Ours is a single network," O'Carroll continues. "We own all our own
inter-city fiber systems, and we have a single headend where we
assemble and distribute content?so when we launch a new channel or
service, we can launch everywhere, simultaneously."
?One nation, one headend: Strong in economics and competitive response
time, "but if you ever had a disaster, you're in trouble," O'Carroll
?That drove a plan to upgrade the company's nationwide SONET network,
and apply redundancy mechanisms.
?And then there's the matter of network scale, which O'Carroll views
as one of the bigger issues facing network operators today. "Whether
it's the combining network, or switching capacity, or IP network
capacity, it's a big challenge to anticipate scale. If you hit that
wall, things can go wrong fast."
?Enter O'Carroll's second major theory. It goes like this: "Every time
you increase your load by an order of magnitude, you need a
fundamental change in either process or technology, to handle that
?To that end, O'Carroll lists network performance as his number-one
priority, followed by increasing market share of IP-connected homes,
and implementing advanced compression techniques.
"We think it's hugely important to increase market share in IP homes,
because the future is all about new digital and IP-based products,"
O'Carroll says. "As for advanced compression?it's all about delivering
more HD channels." Currently, Rogers offers a hefty 32 channels of
HDTV, "and we expect to have a lot more."
The article closes with glimpse into Rogers' overall strategy for the future:
"Just because it has the coveted quad-play, Rogers isn't about to lower its guard.
"What makes us stronger is that our competitor is quite strong. We
have a ton of respect for Bell Canada," [Chief Strategy Officer] Lee
"But Rogers hopes to stay ahead with its extensive slate of services
and its approach to the market. And its dedication to innovation,
which starts at the top."
The article in its entirety can be viewed at
< http://www.cedmagazine.com/article/CA6294434.html?industryid=43677 >.
You may also be interested in this slightly older article, which
discusses the challenges faced by radio stations including those owned
by Rogers as subscription-based radio services (e.g. Sirius Satellite
Radio) increase in popularity:
"Private radio dials up a revenue revival"
< http://www.friends.ca/News/Friends_News/archives/articles03180403.asp >
I also unearthed a few events and projects that are in the offing for Rogers:
- Multicultural station OMNI TV Manitoba will launch on Monday,
February 6th in Winnipeg as part of Rogers' purchase and re-branding
of BC-based NOWTV.
- Rogers announced in December that it will deliver a total of $950
000 over the next 7 years to independent produers of religious
programming in Manitoba and British Columbia, with the resulting
programming to be aired on Rogers' OMNI stations.
- In 2006, Rogers will add over 1000 movie titles to its
movie-on-demand service, which is offered free to Movie Network
I used some of the following search strings to complete your clarification:
"issues facing" rogers communications
"future of" rogers communications
challenges ahead "rogers broadcasting"
Hope this does the trick. :) All the best!