Vodafone Iceland, partners with Ericsson to deliver IPTV services to the Icelandic market.

Through a highly successful Systems Integration project, T-Mobile and Ericsson establish an innovative and first-ofits-kind multi-national MMS platform.

Ericsson takes the prime integrator role, joining forces with established partner Vodafone Iceland, to ensure the smooth delivery of its IPTV service to the highly evolved and technologically aware Icelandic market.

Iceland has a mature pay TV market and one of the highest penetration rates of IPTV in the world. Vodafone Iceland needed to ensure that it had an innovative IPTV service, capable of standing up to the competition in the marketplace and generating growth at the same time. The delivery of an IPTV service, provides Vodafone Iceland with the ability to retain DSL customers, while transforming the end user experience from a passive, one way stream of channels, into an interactive, two way personalized TV service.

As the prime integrator, Ericsson takes an end-to-end responsibility for the delivery and management of the IPTV solution. Kolbeinn Einarsson, Product Development Manager, Vodafone Iceland, describes how Ericsson's role as the prime integrator was key in the deployment of the solution: "We have been working with Ericsson in other areas for a long time and are very confident in their abilities as a systems integrator. The fact that Ericsson was prepared to take an end-to-end responsibility as the prime integrator was very appealing to us. An IPTV solution is a complex chain of many elements that need to be integrated, Ericsson engineers have shown their skill in doing this, and the IPTV solution we have today is a system that really reflects their competence in this area. We have now successfully launched a competitive IPTV service that we are very happy with thanks to a good cooperation with Ericsson."

Ericsson worked together with Vodafone Iceland in the development of the Graphical User Interface (GUI), which includes an Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) for the project. In the dynamic and competitive Icelandic market, the development of an effective, easy to operate user interface, is an essential differentiator. Lars Nielsen, Chief Technical Officer, Ericsson Denmark, talks about the delivery of the GUI: "Vodafone Iceland had a good understanding of how the GUI should look and feel, while Ericsson provided the technical knowledge to get it working that way. Vodafone Iceland used their knowledge of the Icelandic market to ensure that the GUI we delivered was easy to operate, as well as visually appealing to the consumer. Working alongside Vodafone Iceland in the development of the GUI, we have moved into an area in which we are directly visible to the end user."

Further to acting as the prime integrator and working alongside Vodafone Iceland to develop the GUI, Ericsson provided a roadmap enabling the evolution of its IPTV solution towards IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS). The IMS control framework is widely regarded as being the future platform of the telecommunications industry and Vodafone Iceland recognizes the importance of an IMS based platform in enabling them to remain competitive into the future.

An IMS based platform will provide the end user with new possibilities in the way that they experience TV. The TV experience will be enhanced with interactive services accessible from PCs, mobile phones and TVs, wherever the consumer is. Services such as presence enabled address books and instant messaging will be available through the TV screen. There is no real limit to the applications that can be delivered through an IMS platform.

Prior to IPTV, Vodafone Iceland operated a Digital Video Broadcasting Terrestrial (DVB-T) system. This platform, which is still in place and operational, is incapable of delivering true interactivity and cannot operate over the network that is currently used for voice and internet services. With the Ericsson IPTV solution, telephony and internet browsing will all be supported by the same telecommunications network. In a market as technologically aware as Iceland, Vodafone Iceland needed to deliver the most up-to-date offering to be competitive.

The Ericsson IPTV solution enables Vodafone Iceland to compete in a marketplace that is always looking to the future in terms of technology. The roadmap toward IMS will ensure that the IPTV solution will evolve with the market.

The initial launch includes HDTV and Video-on-Demand, as well as the electronic programming guide. The IPTV service is available as a bundled offering, with voice and internet services. Björn Viglundsson, Chief Marketing Officer, Vodafone Iceland, talks about the Vodafone Iceland – Ericsson relationship and the future: "We have a very good relationship with Ericsson and I feel that we share the same vision in terms of IPTV. Ericsson is really focused on IPTV and has exceptional solutions to deliver to the market. This means that we are both working toward the same goal, we want to deliver excellence to our customers in the IPTV space. This project has positioned us well for the future. With a roadmap in place for the evolution of Ericsson's IPTV solution toward IMS, we are already moving toward the vision we have for the technology."

Björn Viglundsson elaborates on how the project will boost the operator's competitive position: "This IMS based platform will enable us to gain vital leverage above our competitors. Vodafone Iceland has an ambitious and clear goal, we want to be the number one network operator in Iceland and the Ericsson IPTV solution has moved us one further step toward that. Our work with Ericsson has allowed us to develop something that is really state-of-the-art, in terms of IPTV."

Overview

Customer: Vodafone Iceland

Customer Objective

  • Strengthen market position
  • Delivery of IPTV service

Ericsson Solution

  • Systems Integration and Solution Management Support
  • IPTV Middleware Application Server (MAS)
  • Content Distribution Platform (CDP)
  • Conditional Access/Digital Rights Management (CA/DRM)
  • Headend
  • Set Top Box integration
  • Customizable TV portal designed according to Vodafone Iceland's requirements

Customer Benefits

  • Future proof platform for performance and applications
  • Capability for new revenue generating services
  • Improved capacity to compete in the marketplace and generate growth

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