Verisign and Thomson
Is there any segment of the IP world where Verisign is absent? Today the company has announced a tie-up with Thomson (personally, the word "leverage" appears too many times for my taste) to create an authentication, authorization and transaction reporting system for content distribution over IP. The two expect this will be up and running by mid-2005, and are also working on a proprietary DRM solution for mutiple networked devices in the home. In my recent post on Bridgeport Networks, I offer idle speculation that France Telecom might be the kind of operator to go for the Bridgeport solution in the UK market, where the ingredients seem to be right, and I would also expect to see FT near the front of the queue on this project, partly because of its IP vision, and obviously because of its historical connections to Thomson.
This further complements Verisign's recent moves in the VoIP space, and seems to validate the view that the company is looking to be the chief interconnect/peering/transaction management agent of the "everything-over-IP revolution." Thomson has also been busy, only yesterday taking a 33% stake in ContentGuard, which puts it in bed with Microsoft and TimeWarner.