Published on 10-Aug-2005
"“ IBM and Thales were clearly committed to working in partnership, and brought a lot of experience to the table. They came to us with a shared vision and a strategy that aligned perfectly with our objectives.”" - Erlendur Steinn Gudnason - Director, Technical Division, Data Services for Iceland Telecom
IBM Business Partner:
Iceland Telecom has implemented a highly flexible solution - based on IBM eServer, IBM TotalStorage and WebSphere, with Thales' SmartVision TV - for delivering advanced IPTV and Video On Demand services over broadband.
Answer customers’ growing demand for IPTV, Video On Demand and other new services; implement a scalable, flexible and resilient platform for future users, services and content formats
A comprehensive, state-of-the-art solution encompassing Thales’ SmartVisionTM broadband service platform based on IBM open infrastructure components. Thales’ expertise in video broadcasting and IBM’s Open Digital Media Framework provide a onestop solution that meets Iceland Telecom’s requirements.
IBM’s and Thales’ capabilities are enabling Iceland Telecom to integrate video content over IP into its existing network services and centrally manage the entire system. Up to 80 percent of the company’s established ADSL accounts in selected areas have adopted the service, and the number of new subscribers has increased substantially in some small towns.
The IBM-Thales solution points to the two companies’ ability to provide value-added, carrier-grade solutions to telecommunications providers – at an attractive price/performance level, and with the scalability to accommodate the heavy demands that are sure to come,”
Telecommunications play a vital role in Iceland. Although the country’s population is relatively small (286,000), its penetration rates for network-related products and services are among the highest in the world. Approximately 80 percent of Iceland’s households are equipped with a computer, and more than 70 percent are connected to the Internet. Demand is high and continuous.
Iceland Telecom, headquartered in the city of Reykjavík, serves both residential and corporate clients in this small but technologically advanced country. Given its customers’ enthusiastic adoption of information and communications technologies, the company continually seeks ways to maximize its network assets and add more value for consumers. It is not alone; increasing customer demands and fierce competition from cable and satellite service providers are compelling telecommunications companies everywhere to channel additional, high-value services – including broadcast entertainment – through their existing networks. This can be a viable and profitable strategy for providers, and a cheaper, more efficient way for customers to access and pay for the services they demand.
In early 2004, Iceland Telecom decided to expand its services to include Live TV and, eventually, Video On Demand – a move that would answer customers’ requests for bundled television, broadband and telephony services, and one that would signal Iceland Telecom’s entry into the world of “triple-play” (integrated telephone, television and broadband offerings). In pursuit of this goal, the company evaluated a number of organizations. Among the candidates were IBM and Thales, a leading IBM Business Partner that has gained a reputation for its expertise in cable, satellite and terrestrial networks. Thales’ SmartVisionTM platform – a fully integrated solution for managing the transport of on demand and live programs over high-speed networks – is supported by IBM open infrastructure components, including IBM , IBM TotalStorage and IBM WebSphere products.
The IBM and Thales platform was a perfect fit for Iceland Telecom – providing a turnkey, highly flexible solution for delivering broadband television services over high-speed networks.
|Key Solution Components|
|Thales SmartVision TVTM broadband service platform|
employing Intel® XeonTM processors
|IBM WebSphere® software products, including WebSphere Application Server|
Notes Erlendur Steinn Gudnason, Director, Technical Division, Data Services for Iceland Telecom, “IBM and Thales were clearly committed to working in partnership, and brought a lot of experience to the table. They came to us with a shared vision and a strategy that aligned perfectly with our objectives. Also, because they offered a single contract and a single point of contact, we knew we could have a direct line of communication throughout the project phases.”
Thales and IBM also provided the level of scalability Iceland Telecom needed to accommodate its future growth and planned services – with less risk and a lower total cost of ownership. The fact that IBM and Thales had supported similar and highly successful initiatives for other national and regional telecommunications companies added to Iceland Telecom’s comfort level. Thales’ ability to deliver and integrate the entire service platform into Iceland Telecom’s existing broadcast and broadband network was also key. Another plus was IBM BladeCenter servers – fault-tolerant systems that can accommodate additional IBM blades to run third-party software. IBM WebSphere middleware rounded out these capabilities – affording a comprehensive infrastructure tailored to accommodate Video On Demand.
|The opportunity to leverage current services and accommodate customers' demands for one-stop, bundled telecommunications, TV and Video On Demand services|
|An open, scalable, flexible and integrated broadband platform incorporating best-of-breed hardware, software and services|
A carrier-grade platform for content on demand
In July 2004, the initial phase of the project – a “trial run” with 300 users – began. Subsequent to this effort, which was completed in four months and according to schedule, Thales and IBM tackled the next phase. This involved setting up a platform for 4,000 users, followed by an upgrade that would accommodate 10,000 customers and mark the introduction of Iceland Telecom’s commercial service. Currently the system is capable of serving 50,000 customers and supporting 5,000 concurrent video streams for Video On Demand.
Today, the commercial service is available with limited coverage (10 TV channels) to approximately 90 percent of the Icelandic population. By the fall of 2005, the service will include 60 TV channels and Video On Demand. To date, Iceland Telecom has reported up to 80 percent take-up of the service for its installed ADSL customer base in selected areas. In several small towns, the number of ADSL customers has increased considerably.
“The IBM-Thales solution points to the two companies’ ability to provide valueadded, carrier-grade solutions to telecommunications providers – at an attractive price/performance level, and with the scalability to accommodate the heavy demands that are sure to come,” states Erlendur Steinn Gudnason.
IBM has long been recognized for its leadership in providing technology and services to the telecommunications industry – offering an open infrastructure well equipped to support and grow services such as Video On Demand.
The Thales Group designs, develops, manufactures and designs, develops, manufactures and markets equipment, systems and solutions for terrestrial transmission (radio and TV), digital video processing and multimedia distribution – serving broadcasting, cable TV, satellite and telecommunications service providers in 170 countries.
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Products and services used
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2005 IBM Corporation 1133 Westchester Avenue White Plains, NY 10604 U.S.A. Produced in the United States of America 8-05 All Rights Reserved IBM, ibm.com, the IBM logo, the eServer logo, the On Demand Business logo, BladeCenter, TotalStorage, WebSphere and xSeries are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. Intel is a registered trademark of Intel Corporation in the United States and other countries. Other company, product or service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. Many factors contributed to the results and benefits achieved by the IBM customer described in this document. IBM does not guarantee comparable results. References in this publication to IBM products or services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates.