Reiljan, the head of technology at 100% Telia-Sonera owned Elion, said “`We have integration with just one vendor and there are conflicting strategies between TV operators and vendors. The CE manufacturers try to compete with operators and we lose some of the control of the consumer experience.”
Eilion first started to think about connected TV as a STB replacement in autumn 2010, because the mass market for smart TV was developing.
“We approached all TV vendors in the spring of 2011 and Samsung jumped at the invitation. In May 2o12 we signed a MOU with Samsung, and within three months we launched the first STB-less IPTV service in Augusts 2012, followed in November by the full commercial launch.”
Elion started in order to make the TV experience simpler and easier for the customer. Thera re brand and marketing synergies – “Samsung spends more money than we do. We use that , it’s a powerful solution.”
Other reasons are that it is easy to put the apps on devices, connected TVs have more power than STBs, and it is good that the operator can remove the STB from the chain, “Yes, it is a nice device, we control it, and we can manage customer experience; but for the customer it consumes electricity, it’s another device in the home – and until now we subsidised the boxes.”
Learning from the first year of STB-less IPTV, Reiljan said he aims to do integration with all major vendors in the next two years.”And also align our strategy better with the vendors – the current road map doesn’t help consumers.”
Automated testing solution is also key to manage multi-platform complexity. And we have to agree with TV vendors how we manage customer experience and how we build solutions and tools early on.”
Elion is also contemplating offering an OTT service out of its network, “But as we are the #1 provider of TV in the country, we don’t have much need for an OTT solution.” At the moment Elion serves 300,000 homes in the country, 85% of which also take the TV service.