Billi went live on February 26, the first unbundled telco platform in Belgium, and initially serving the French-speaking part of the country where VOO is the dominant cable operator. Systems integrator Alpha Networks has selected Viaccess conditional access and sister company Orca’s pay-TV middleware to run on the platform.
“Orca was flexible, and allowed a white label platform that can be customized,” Dumont de Chassart said of his technology choice. Other suppliers include Ericsson and Harmonic. “Billie is a turnkey platform with content that forms an A-Z managed network”.
Billi’s challenge to VOO comes through a €45 triple play offer that will give subscribers 60 TV channels, telephony internet speeds of 24 Mbps. People can also choose to buy double play, e.g. broadbvand access with telephony or with IPTV only, for €30. Dumont de Chassart explained Alpha Networks could provide a similar service in other markets with other channels replacing those that serve the Belgian market.
At the moment, Billi only offers 60 SD quality channels, but the operator hopes to add HD channels and VOD at a later date. With 350,000 homes passed the reach of the new platform is still very limited, but Billi hopes to double the potential reached before the end of the year. The current service area includes parts of the province of Limburg, ten Brussels suburbs and a number of Walloon cities.