As Prime Integrator, Ericsson partners with OTE, Greece to successfully roll out an innovative IPTV package which places it ahead of the competition.
As the tier-one operator in Greece, OTE currently leads the Greek telecommunications market in both fixed and mobile telecommunications, together with its mobile subsidiary Cosmote. In order to strengthen its position as market leader, OTE wanted to enter the IPTV arena and needed a reliable and expert partner to steer the implementation.
Prior to the start of this rollout Ericsson and OTE had worked together in other projects. Nevertheless, Ericsson had to pass an RFQ phase and upon selection a trial period was initiated in order to ensure that the rollout was smooth. A strong core team and the full support of the Product Development Unit contributed to a successful trial, proving Ericsson's flexibility and capability to deliver on such a complex solution.
Throughout the project, Ericsson has remained agile in developing a tailored solution which is perfect for OTE's needs and enables real differentiation in a mature market. The offering, marketed as conn-x TV, gives users access to digital services through their fixed-line broadband connection. With 'Take control' as its motto, OTE offers wide scale IPTV for the first time in Greece. Users can enjoy TV with digital quality, games, an exclusive sports channel, an interactive guide and a scheduled recording service. Video-on-demand is available both on a transactional and on a monthly subscription base to film clubs where the viewer has the option to rewind, pause, skip, stop and fast forward.
Christos Xanthopoulos, Key Account Manager OTE, Ericsson talks about the tailored service: "It was decided early on that the portal should be fully customized in terms of navigation and graphics. A unique Graphical User Interface (GUI) was also developed to unite the service with OTE's existing products and brand so it is immediately recognizable as one of their services."
OTE is currently at the stage of building awareness about the service. The main marketing message initially focuses on the content available and in future it is hoped that the interactivity will be a major draw for consumers. Ilias Kavagias, Commercial Director IPTV Services, OTE, Greece talks about the features of the IPTV offering: "conn-x TV offers a whole new experience and level of service and it is this quality which will differentiate us from the competition and appeal to subscribers. We have already rolled out a unique range of features and content and plan to add more as the capabilities of the service evolve even further."
The smooth and swift completion of the IPTV service belies the complex nature of the project. The IPTV solution includes Systems Integration and Solution Management Support, IPTV Middleware, a Content Distribution Platform, Conditional Access/Digital Rights, Headend and Set Top Box integration and GUI implementation. Several of the products which make up the solution are supplied by third parties, so Ericsson's role as Prime Integrator has been crucial in coordination and systems integration. Pandelis Papanikolaou, Head of IPTV and Internet Services infrastructure, OTE, Greece comments on the value of this role: "Ericsson has managed the integration and assimilation of a number of multi-vendor products in this rollout. This has simplified the process for us and played an important part in the success. We appreciate the contacts and widespread expertise that Ericsson brings to the table."
Since the full commercial launch in February, conn-x TV has only been marketed to areas where the existing infrastructure can fully support it. The aim is to offer conn-x TV gradually in 2009 to the 50 largest cities in Greece. As such, the service is in the early stages of commercial use, but already end-user satisfaction surveys show very positive feedback. IPTV is a relatively new concept in Greece and it holds numerous possibilities for future evolution. There will be expansions in the Headend and an increase in subscribers while new services, content and features will be developed in time. Looking ahead there are exciting opportunities to combine IPTV with satellite, OTE owns a satellite named Hellas Sat, and enable the provision of comparable content to areas without access to broadband. This will open up whole new markets for those operators who are well prepared.
Customer: OTE, Greece
- Launch IPTV services
- Enhance perception among consumers
- Differentiate from the competition
- Systems Integration and Solution Management
- IPTV Middleware
- Content Distribution Platform (CDP)
- Conditional Access/Digital Rights Management (CA/DRM)
- Set Top Box integration and GUI implementation
- Future-proof platform
- Ability to offer new revenue-generating services
- Improved capacity to compete in the marketplace