For more than 80 years, Telekom Romania Communications (formerly known as Romtelecom), an Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) subsidiary controlled by Deutsche Telekom, has been providing a reliable, innovative, and easy-to-use communications services including traditional fixed telephony, broadband Internet, and TV (e.g., satellite, IPTV, and cable) to the Romanian market.
Over the last five years in particular, Telekom Romania Communications has experienced significant growth in pay-TV subscriptions. According to recent research from OTE, the operator’s number of subcribers rose from just over 1 million in 2010 to 1.4 million in 2015.
In order to remain competitive, the telecommunications operator needed to expand into the OTT multiscreen world and address the growing consumer demand for a more personalized and interactive television experience on every screen. Recently, Telekom Romania embarked on a massive infrastructure upgrade to launch a new IPTV and OTT multiscreen service, including live, VOD, and nPVR content, called “Telekom TV.” This case study documents Telekom Romania’s groundbreaking journey into the OTT multiscreen world.
When it came to launching an OTT multiscreen service, Telekom Romania had several clear-cut objectives. Most importantly, the operator wanted to secure the evolution of its legacy IPTV services while offering enhanced multiscreen features and a seamless and consistent customer experience. Telekom Romania also aimed to streamline operational processes, simplify specifications, remove operational constraints, and improve cost efficiency.
Additionally, as an integral part of Deutsche Telekom’s activities in Europe, Telekom Romania was on a mission to align its new TV service with all other operations in the region. Deutsche Telekom’s International TV Service Center was tasked with choosing an internationally viable platform from the best fitting vendors, who would not only support Telekom Romania but potentially sister companies in countries like Croatia, Hungary, and Greece.
Another goal of Telekom Romania was to find an end-to-end system that supports all kind of devices and a STB client with support for both OTT and legacy VOD, both on the client and platform side. The solution would need to provide support for all popular adtaptive bitrate formats to enable OTT streaming.
Viaccess-Orca was brought in as the service delivery platform provider and lead technology integrator to help Telekom Romania achieve these goals.As the lead technology integrator, Viaccess-Orca was in charge of the end-to-end validation and testing, ensuring Telekom Romania launched its cutting-edge solution in a very short time to market. Telekom Romania chose Viaccess-Orca as the lead integrator based on the company’s extensive IPTV and OTT multiscreen deployment experience,expertise in navigating the CAS and DRM complexities that are typically related to projects of this nature, and for its powerful service delivery platform.
Thanks to Viaccess-Orca’s Voyage TV Everywhere solution and an ecosystem of partners— that supports all consumer device types (such as TVs, PCs, STBs, smartphones and tablets) and a wide range of business models (such as subscription and pay-per-view), Telekom Romania was able to deliver a premium TV service and open up new levels of interactivity for the subscribers of Telekom TV. For this project, Voyage has been integrated with a multiscreen video processing solution from Harmonic, Accedo VIA® Multi-Screen Solution, Broadpeak fast channel change solution, Friendly QoE Monitoring Pro quality assurance solution, Akamai content delivery solution, KAONMEDIA set-top boxes, and, of course, Zenterio OS.
Zenterio OS can be used on any new and existing hardware, enabling Telekom Romania to quickly and cost-effectively launch new interactive services and applications. In addition, the operating system harmonizes software environments, allowing Telekom Romania to run the same OS on all hardware. The end result is that Telekom Romania can launch better services faster while decreasing costs for operations, maintenance, and sourcing. This has a number of different implikations but more than anything it gives you:
A consistent user experience: Through Voyage, Telekom Romania can offer a seamless pause-resume functionality, allowing users to start watching on one device and continue from another. Furthermore, recordings can be initiated from any device.
Openness and decoupling: By choosing a best-of-breed solution, supplied from a variety of ecosystem partners vs. a single black box platform from one vendor, Telekom Romania has greater control over the Telekom TV features and service.
Increased operational efficiencies and cost savings: With RiGHTv, Telekom Romania no longer needs multiple infrastructure silos for service delivery. RiGHTv, the unified service delivery platform, allows the service provider to prepare and manage content in various formats through every step of the delivery process, while meeting content owners’ requirements. By unifying service delivery, RiGHTv allows Telekom Romania to support more device types, while increasing cost savings, operational efficiencies, and the rollout of additional services.