Ericsson revealed that it is powering a new over-the-top (OTT) service launched by T-Mobile Netherlands in August that could boost the operator’s position in a market increasingly driven by convergence.
The Sweden-based infrastructure vendor said it signed a multi-year deal with T-Mobile NL to provide the online platform and end-to-end video services for the operator’s new Knippr OTT TV service. Ericsson’s contract covers the preparation and management of content, digital rights management, and content delivery networks.
Ericsson said its online video platform is being used to provide a range of live and on-demand TV channels OTT, and that it is also providing metadata services to enhance Knippr’s electronic programme guide. The vendor said it offers a global portfolio of content comprising over 10 million movie and TV titles.
Thorsten Sauer, head of broadcast and media services at Ericsson, said the vendor’s managed service “takes away the complexities and challenges of deploying internet-delivered catch-up and online TV services to every connected device”.
For T-Mobile NL, the service offers it a chance to compete with convergence plays by rivals KPN and Vodafone Netherlands. The Dutch unit of Deutsche Telekom has effectively been forced to go it alone as a mobile-only player after a planned sale of the business fell through earlier this year.
Knippr VP Johan Trouwborst noted that the OTT TV service is “cable free” and offers consumers the ability to “watch content wherever and whenever they want on the screen of their choice.”
Dutch consumers “are no longer stuck with the expensive combination packages containing large channel packages,” he added.
Deutsche Telekom’s decision to maintain T-Mobile NL as a standalone mobile business is not without precedent. The operator’s T-Mobile US business has thrived despite growing competition from rivals including Verizon and Sprint, and could provide a blueprint for its Dutch business.
However, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Erhan Gurses in April noted that the push towards convergence in the Netherlands would make it harder for Deutsche Telekom to replicate the success of its U.S. business in that country, Bloomberg reported at the time.
In May, Dutch research company Conclusr warned that a planned combination of Vodafone Netherlands with Liberty Global’s cable business Ziggo -- which the European Commission subsequently granted tentative approval to in August -- was likely to pick up customers from rivals including T-Mobile NL and Tele2.
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