Tele Columbus Group to Use NDS VideoGuard® to Protect its Service Portfolio

Thursday, March 6th, 2008
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HANOVER/LONDON — The Tele Columbus Group, Germany’s third-largest cable operator, announces that it will now protect its independent networks with conditional access technology from leading international solutions provider NDS Group plc (NASDAQ: NNDS). The digital TV portfolio which Tele Columbus will offer on its own platform in cooperation with Eutelsat as of May will be primarily secured with NDS’ VideoGuard® technology. The operator’s existing subscribers will not have to buy new set-top boxes as Tele Columbus will use a customer-friendly Simulcrypt solution as of the launch of the new platform.

The Tele Columbus Group serves some 3.7 million cable-connected households, making it one of Germany’s biggest multimedia service providers. It operates a large number of independent networks with headends receiving signals directly from its own digital platform in partnership with Eutelsat via the orbital position at 9 degrees East. To protect digital content and thus drive development of a new generation of digital free and pay TV, new subscribers within these networks will be supplied principally with equipment based on NDS VideoGuard® technology. The platform gives Tele Columbus the flexibility to support the launch of future integrated services such as digital video recorders (DVR), pay-per-view (PPV) or video on demand (VOD) as well as many other added-value services.

“The security offered by NDS VideoGuard has never been compromised, and it offers impressive options. This is also why this system is gaining increasing significance on the German market,” explains Markus Schmid, COO and President of the Tele Columbus Group. The VideoGuard content security system currently protects over 82.7 million active digital set-top boxes throughout the world. Over 76.4 million receivers around the globe use NDS middleware; over 10.4 million digital video recorders are operated with NDS technology. “With NDS as our technology partner, we can also offer the future programming partners of our digital platform optimal protection against fraudulent, illegal use. We are delighted to develop the next generation of digital services on this reliable basis,” sums up Schmid.

New set-top boxes provided for new subscribers to the independent networks of the Tele Columbus Group will be equipped with the VideoGuard conditional access system. Most of these boxes will also feature an Ethernet connection interface for transporting content via Internet Protocol (IP) as well as interactive applications via back channel interactivity. To maintain the existing pool of customers’ set-top boxes and to ensure an orderly transition to NDS technology, Tele Columbus will use a Simulcrypt solution with two parallel encryption systems. The goal is the smooth development of digital TV and triple-play offers for customers as well as continued growth as a customer-oriented multimedia and telecommunication service provider.

“Tele Columbus has embarked on a clear path to growth and we are proud to support the company with the development of its TV services,” remarks Yves Padrines, Director of Business Development at NDS. “Following recent deployments of VideoGuard technology in the German market, we are more than pleased to have also been chosen by Tele Columbus, a major player at the heart of Germany’s cable industry and one of the largest national cable providers of multimedia services.”