Case Study - Cincinatti Bell

Cincinnati Bell Telephone (CBT) and its predecessor companies have provided telephone services to millions of subscribers in the greater Cincinnati area since 1873. Its Fioptics fiber network offers Gigabit speeds to over 400,000 subscribers in the company’s service area.

The Challenge:

In 2012 CBT selected ZTE to integrate an end-to-end IPTV service for their Fioptics fiber network. The solution incorporated.

  • Middleware developed by ZTE and tailored to CBT specific feature requirements
  • Verimatrix ViewRight DRM
  • Whole home DVR solution based on ST7109 with MoCA for multi-room distribution
  • Fast channel change, error correction by retransmission and VOD based on ZTE proprietary platforms

When demand for the ZTE solution failed to materialize in the North American market, CBT found their middleware roadmap being driven by requirements in Asia and Africa, and lagging in competitive features for North America.

CBT decided to migrate to a more mainstream middleware, and a device supplier with more presence and technology suited to the North American market. However, they had 80,000 subscribers—240,000 ZTE set-top boxes and DVRs—already in their network, and none of the relevant middleware offerings supported the ZTE hardware.

The Solution:

Working closely together Amino and CBT executed a three-step plan.

  • First, Amino ported ZTE middleware to the Company’s EnableTM adaptation layer. This allowed CBT to halt purchases of the older ZTE hardware design, and begin deploying the more capable and future-proof Amino 400-series platform.
  • Second, Amino ported the Enable adaptation layer to the ZTE hardware. This allowed the 240,000 ZTE set-top boxes to run CBT’s new Minerva middleware.
  • Finally, Amino converted the 4-series devices in the network from ZTE middleware to Minerva.

The Outcome:

In the course of a six-month migration period, CBT converted its legacy ZTE hardware to Minerva and seamlessly continued to more than double the subscriber base with Amino 4-series products.

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We’re delighted to present our subscriber base with a fresh user interface and new media choices without the time-consuming logistics associated with a complete hardware replacement. With Amino’s long history of successful deployments powered by Enable TV software, we were confident that Enable was the right choice for our customers

Tom Simpson, Chief Technology Oficer at Cincinnati Bell