The Philippines, with a population of more than 100 million, has a strong momentum of economic growth and a bright future for the video market. Converge ICT (Converge for short) is a telecom infrastructure provider, the largest ISP operator, and also a leader in the all-optical broadband access industry in the Philippines. It secures necessary licenses to operate services including fixed-line, cable TV and enterprise private line. It has considerable fiber resources, and its FTTH users increase rapidly, with 50,000 to 60,000 new users per month, which shows great market potential.
By the end of 2019, the national fixed-line penetration in the Philippines was only 18.6%, while the FTTH penetration was only 8%. Converge saw promising prospects in the transition from copper to fiber across the globe and was determined to develop FTTH early in 2018.
With the rapid development of the Internet and the rise of the IPTV/OTT services, users are no longer satisfied with just getting online and simple live broadcast services. They are more interested in high definition (HD) or even 4K videos and immersive video experience. In the Philippines, there are very few operators that can offer high-quality paid video services, and the quality of the content they provide varies from one to another. Converge captures the huge market opportunities, and has devised the development strategy of "binding broadband with video services" since April 2020. Converge has planned to seek a world-leading provider of big video solutions to empower its fast expansions in the fixed-line big video market with the most competitive big video convergence services.
Converge also faces many challenges when developing video services. The major one is how to improve service capabilities of the IPTV/OTT platform deployed on the existing network. Building a new platform may cause a waste of existing devices, while the platform upgrade on the existing network may not support rapid user expansion. Moreover, existing vendors cannot provide the most competitive user experience. It has become a major issue for Converge to decide whether to protect its investment by upgrade or to build a brand new video platform to meet user needs for big videos.
Converge and ZTE have maintained a good long-term partnership. ZTE has been providing Converge with stable and high-speed broadband access products and services. After understanding the difficulties of Converge, ZTE focused on Converge's needs for video development and established a team of experts to help Converge analyze the availability of the existing video platform. After repeated confirmation, both parties agreed that the reuse of existing network equipment would hinder the development of the entire video business, and finally Converge decided to build a brand new video platform to deliver a better video experience.
Partnership with ZTE
After more than six months of frequent online technical exchanges and clarification between the two parties, Converge chose ZTE as its exclusive partner among many global renowned platform providers for video business in early 2020, considering many factors such as technical solutions and comprehensive strength. ZTE's premium video platform (PVP) solution adopts an open and flexible architecture to enable innovative functions while guaranteeing system security and reliability. The PVP solution facilitates fast integration of third-part apps and has been deployed in many countries around the world. Converge can use the PVP solution to provide users with a variety of innovative multi-screen services, including live TV, VOD, TSTV, TVOD, bookmark, parental control, multi-screen interaction, intelligent recommendation, and intelligent search.
With 20 years of experience in the multimedia field, ZTE has built a professional R&D team of nearly 1,000 engineers. It also has engineering delivery experts across the world and rich experience in industrial cooperation. ZTE will continue to focus on technological evolution and service innovation in the big video sector, helping Converge develop ultra-high definition video services and become an excellent model for operators in Southeast Asia.